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Full text of "Annual Report of the Division of Fisheries and Game (1920-1933)"

W)3 




Public Document 



Cfie CommontoealtD of e^asgacimsetw 



ANNUAL REPORT 



\ 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND Ga: 



FOE THB 



Year ending November 30, 1920 



Department of Conservation 




BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 






/ 



Public Document No. 25 



Cfte Commontoealtf) of ^assatWsttts 



ANNUAL REPORT 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 



Year ending November 30, 1920 - 1933, 






Department of Conservation ,' JJ-^rv^ 



** 




BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 

\ 



JUN V: 
3TA »E, BOSTON 



Publication of this Document 

approved by the 
Supervisor of Administration. 



°IM3 
1920-1933 

3 






DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION. 



Commissioner. 

WILLIAM A. L. BAZELEY. 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME. 



Director. 

WILLIAM C. ADAMS. 

Inspector of Fish. 

ARTHUR L. MILLETT. 

Secretary. 

Miss L. B. RIMBACH. 

Chief Fish and Game Warden. 

ORRIN C. BOURNE. 

Supervisor of Distributions. 

W. RAYMOND COLLINS. 

Biologist. 

DAVID L. BELDING. 

Office: Room 506, State House, Boston, Mass. 



CONTENTS 



General Considerations, . 
Reorganization, 
Sportsmen's Conference, 
Quarters, 

Activities outside the State, 
Finances, 
Associations, . 
Education and Publicity, 
Enforcement of Laws, 
Personnel, 
Equipment, 
Court Cases, . 

Federal Laws on Migratory Bird 
Lobster Laws, . 
Legislation, 
Biological Department, . 
General, . 
Reports, . 

Survey of Inland Waters 
Smelt, 
Ale wife, . 
Bird Diseases, . 
Fish Diseases, . 
Pollution, 
Wild Birds and Animals, 
Breeding Season, 
Posted Land, . 
Winter Feeding, 
Hunting Season, 
Migratory Birds, 

Song and Insectivorous Birds 
Migratory Game Birds, 

Shore Birds, 

Upland Plover, . 

Black- breasted Plover 

Golden Plover, . 

Killdeer Plover, . 

Piping Plover, 

Woodcock, 

Jack or Wilson Snipe, 

Dowitcher or Red-breasted S 

Sandpipers, 

Yellow Legs, 

Willet, 

Hudsonian Curlew, 

Godwit, 

Rail, . 

Wood Duck, 



nipe, 



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VI 



CONTENTS. 



Wild Birds and Animals — Concluded. 
Migratory Birds — Concluded. 

Migratory Game Birds — Concluded. 

Mallard Duck, 

Red-head, . 

Canvasback, 

Black Duck, 

Bluebill, . 

Scoter, 

Sheldrake, . 

Geese and Brant, 

Swan, 

Statistics of the Gunning Stands, 

Migratory Bird Law, . 

Lighthouses versus Migratory Birds 
Migratory Non-Game Birds — Gulls and Terns, 

Wilson or Common Terns, 

Roseate and Arctic Terns, 

Least Terns, 

Laughing Gulls, 
Upland Game, 
Pheasants, 
Ruffed Grouse, . 
Quail, 

Carolina Doves, 
Deer, 

Squirrels, . 
Hares and Rabbits, 
Fur-bearing Animals, 
Enemies to Game, 
Cats, 
Lynx, 
Fox, 

Starlings, . 

Hawks, Owls and Vermin, 
Reservations, . 

Marthas Vineyard Reservati 

Cultivation of Land, 

Heath Hen, 

Breeding Season, 

Fires, 

Vermin, 

Visitors, 
Myles Standish State Forest, 
Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary, 
Reservations under chapter 410, Acts of 1911, 

Sconticut Neck Reservation, Fairhaven, 

Hubbardston Reservation, 

Millis Reservation, 

Tyngsborough Reservation, 

Hingham Reservation, 

Lynnfield Reservation, 

Taunton Reservation, . 

Mansfield-Foxborough Reservation, 

Bare Hill Reservation, Harvard, . 

Pittsfield Reservation, 

Randolph Reservation, 



CONTENTS. 



Vll 






Inland Fisheries, 

Fishing Licenses, 
Ponds stocked, 
Trout, . 

, Brook Trout, 
Brown Trout 
Chinook Salmon, 
Pike Perch, 
Pickerel, 
Black Bass, 
White Perch 
Smelt, . 

Salt-water Smelt, 
Fresh-water Smelt 
Horned Pout, . 

Granting of Fishing Privileges in Great Ponds 
Lease of Chilmark Pond, 
Permits to seine Squibnocket Pond, 
Lease of Bartlett's Marsh Pond and White Is 
Screens, ...... 

Fish ways, ..... 

Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers, 
Saugus River, .... 

Ipswich River, .... 

Merrimack River, 
Pollution, ..... 

Propagation of Fish and Game, 

General, ...... 

Sale of Abandoned Hatcheries, 
Pheasant Rearing versus Duck Rearing 
Planting of Eyed Fish Eggs, 
Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms, 
Palmer Fish Hatchery, 

Small-mouth Black Bass, 
Large-mouth Black Bass, 
Chinook Salmon, 
Silver Trout, 
Brook Trout, 
Salt-water Smelt, 
Pike Perch, 
Yellow Perch, 
Horned Pout, 
Sandwich Fish Hatcheries, . 
Brook Trout, 
Chinook Salmon, 
Silver Trout, 
Ale wives, . 
Sutton Hatchery, 
Brook Trout, 
Brown Trout, 
Rearing Stations, 

Montague Rearing Station, 
Amherst Rearing Station, 
Pittsfield Rearing Station, 
Sandwich Bird Farm, 
Ducks, 



land 



Pond, 



PAGE 

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Vlll 



CONTENTS. 



Propagation of Fish and Game — Concluded. 

Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms — Concluded. 
Sandwich Bird Farm — Concluded. 
Wood Ducks, 
Pheasants, . 
Quail, 
Vermin, 
Marshfield Bird Farm, 
Wilbraham Game Farm, 
Fish and Game Distribution, . 
Marine Fisheries, . 

Inspection of Fish, . 

Conferences, Meetings and Hearings, 
Regulations adopted, 
Aims and Need of Fish Inspection, 
Fish Inspection the Solution, 
How Fish are masqueraded, 
Progress already made, 
A Fisheries College, .... 
The Fish Industry, .... 
The Deep-sea Fisheries, 

Fresh Fishing or Haddock Fleet, 
Swordfishing Fleet, 
Salt Bank Codfishery, . 
The Shacking Fleet, . 
Salt or Flitched Halibut Fishery, 
Fresh Halibut Fleet, . 
The Gill Netting Fleet, 
Small Craft, 
The Flounder Fishery, 
The Mackerel Fishery, 
Cape Cod Fishery Activities, 
Boston Fishery Activities, . 
The Gloucester Fisheries, . 
The Lobster Fishery, 
Alewives, ..... 
Industry, .... 
Investigation, 

Obstructions, 
Fishways, 
Artificial Hatching, 
Transplanting, 
Death of Herring at Cohasset, 

Shad, 

The Mollusk Fisheries, 

Clams, .... 

Scallops, .... 

Oysters, .... 

Quahaugs, .... 

Pollution of Shellfish Grounds, 
Appendix: — 

Recommendations for Legislation, ...... 

Returns from the Shore Net and Pound Fisheries for the Year 1920, 
Number of Pounds of Fish taken in Pounds, Nets, Traps, etc., 1920, 
Returns from Lobster Fisheries, 1920, ..... 



149 
153 
156 

160 



Cfte Commontoealtl) of 90a00acf)U0ett0 



GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. 

The greatest concern of those who are studying the relation 
between the wild life of any given State and the increasing 
drains on it, through the taking in each year, is the fact that 
there is probably no species of game bird or fish which is any 
more than holding its own. The annual production at the 
bird farms and fish hatcheries is not in proportion to the in- 
creasing number of sportsmen and fishermen who take the 
field, and very little or no margin is left for the inroads on 
the stock due to unfavorable breeding seasons, forest fires, 
cutting of the covers, severe winters and ravages of vermin. 
In fact, it is a common expression among the older and deeper 
observing men, "It is a mystery to me how the wild life holds 
its own under existing conditions." 

All of this demands increasing search for any agencies which 
will assist in causing the balance to swing toward a gradual 
increase in the stock. Great emphasis has been placed on the 
artificial propagation of certain species of birds, quadrupeds 
and fish, — this is probably the greatest single factor. Then 
should follow the elimination of vermin, and the establishment 
of breeding and wintering grounds which are closed to all 
shooting throughout the year. The foregoing about exhausts 
what man can do, with the exception of the following propo- 
sition upon which particular emphasis should be laid. It is 
elementary that the largest amount of wild life will be found 
on the area (whether of land or water) that is most adapted 
to it, and where such conditions as food and protection (in its 
fullest sense) are present to the economic maximum. It is a 
fair assertion that there is no area of land or body of water 
in this Commonwealth to-day on which primeval conditions 
have been maintained or artificial conditions developed to the 
point where it can be said that that area is in such physical 



2 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

condition that it will maintain indefinitely its full quota of 
wild life. If this is true of certain areas which have had special 
attention, then we are in a position to visualize what is the 
actual condition throughout the entire State, and how hope- 
less it is to expect great increases in the stock of wild life 
until conditions approximating the economic maximum can be 
created. The prospect for any general development along 
this line is exceedingly remote by reason of the very democracy 
under which we live. 

In the old feudal days, had the owner of a large tract of 
land come to this conclusion, he could have immediately issued 
certain orders to all his tenants, demanding that they do cer- 
tain things. For instance, he could have commanded them 
to build reservoirs in which the snows of the winter could be 
collected, and throughout the rest of the season gradually 
emptied, in order to keep the trout brooks on his domain full 
of the coldest water. He could have ordered them to deepen 
pools in various parts of the brooks and to plant, or permit 
to grow along the shores, vegetation which would protect the 
stock. At the headwaters of the tributary brooks conditions 
would have been made ideal for spawning fish, and for the 
eggs and fry to have adequate protection throughout and fol- 
lowing the spawning season. Ponds and large lakes would 
have been suitably stocked with such vegetation, small forms 
of animal life and small species of fish as would provide the 
maximum food supply. 

On the hills and in the valleys that vegetation which sup- 
plied the birds with their natural food would have been per- 
mitted to flourish, and wherever it had been destroyed it 
would have been replaced and extended, to the end that all 
the birds and animals which could economically live on that 
range would have adequate food supplies and protective 
covering. Realizing the extent to which his ancestors had 
unwittingly drained his domains of its wild life he would have 
delegated to certain tenants the work of artificially propagating 
those species which could be so handled, in order to hasten the 
return of desired conditions; and he would have completed 
the plan by issuing an order that a continuous warfare should 
be kept up against vermin, and that he and his followers 






1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 3 

would be permitted to take only a portion of the annual in- 
crease for recreation and for food supply. Could the good 
baron live but a few years he could die in peace, knowing 
that he had restored to his children's children a domain on 
which they could enjoy once more the wild life which their 
ancestors squandered. 

But the very democracy under which we live and to which 
we point with pride actually makes against any such practical 
handling of the problem. To-day each man owns his land in 
fee, and he is lord thereon. The State government has no 
control over it, as relating to the matters under discussion. 
The owner cuts his forest with no thought of the results to 
the State and the denuded hills precipitate the waters to the 
sea. As the streams dry up and the ponds and lakes are 
drawn on to turn the wheels of commerce, their receding waters 
leave the valuable food-bearing vegetation on the shores to 
wither and die. Every available area of land that will produce 
crops is put to the plow, and in the winter is a desert. The 
only cover left, as a rule, is that which is not suitable for 
exploitation, and the only food supply is that which can exist 
on these neglected areas. Vermin exists and takes at will 
except where reduced to some extent by trapping. But the 
trapper is not interested in the species most deadly to game, as, 
for example, the weasel; and man has supplemented the natural 
enemies by contributing the most deadly of all, — the unre- 
strained hunting house cat. The great horned owl and the 
goshawk ply their trade at will, and the water snake and the 
snapping turtle are unmolested. It is difficult to criticize the 
owner of the land, for by present-day standards he is justified 
in commercially exploiting his holdings to the limit. Unless 
he happens to be a fisherman and hunter or one particularly 
interested in birds, the preservation of the wild life means 
little to him, and he gives it no consideration. 

The Federal government has gone a great way in assuming 
protection of the migratory birds. The State government has 
placed many wise restrictions on what its citizens may do in 
the taking of wild life. It has made very commendable ef- 
forts with its limited jurisdiction over the land within its 
boundaries. If the State did all that it possibly could do there 



4 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

would still be this great underlying proposition over which it 
could exercise no control. The proposition stands thus, — the 
wild life must have the things previously enumerated. The State 
can supply only a portion. The individual landowners must 
do the rest. The owners are under no legal obligation to sup- 
ply this "rest," and the only hope lies in educating them to 
this requirement. But even as to education there is little hope 
for progress when the things required mean the loss of dollars 
and cents to the owners of the land. On publicly owned 
lands the State government some day may establish ideal 
conditions, but this will take time and money. If we have 
been slow in acting as to the public domain where commercial- 
ism is removed, what can be expected of the individual where 
commercialism exists? And where a landowner or a group of 
landowners do the things that are necessary to restore wild 
life in substantial numbers, the growing tendency is for them 
to capitalize this condition by excluding the general public 
and leasing the sporting privileges. 

No complete solution of this problem is at hand. The hope 
of the future lies in the increased financial assistance brought 
about by assuming a greater financial obligation in the shape 
of increased license fees by those who pursue and take the 
wild life; in the doing by the State of more of the things 
which it can do; in the education of the owners of the land 
to generously do more of the things which they can do, and 
which remain undone either through inadvertence or through 
the conflict with other commercial interests; and in the edu- 
cation of those who exploit these resources to greater restraint 
in the takings and to a willingness to make an individual 
contribution, financially or through personal service, in con- 
junction with the landowners, toward assisting in doing the 
things which only the landowner can do. 

Reorganization. 

By chapter 350, General Acts of 1919, the Fish and Game 
Commission was incorporated into the Department of Con- 
servation which was created by the said act. 

Pursuant to the provisions of the act His Excellency on 
Nov. 24, 1919, nominated William C. Adams of Newtonville as 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 5 

Director of the Division of Fisheries and Game, by which title 
the organization which succeeded the former commission was 
designated. The nomination was confirmed by the Council 
on Dec. 1, 1919, and on that date the board of three members 
previously having charge of fish and game matters ceased to 
exist, and the Division of Fisheries and Game came into being. 
With the opening of the year and the organization of the 
Department of Conservation the year's work was immediately 
outlined. Conferences were held, called by the Commissioner 
of Conservation and the Director, with the hatchery superin- 
tendents, the wardens, the commercial fish interests and the 
sportsmen. The latter conference, held on Jan. 9, 1920, at 
the State House, was an innovation. For the first time in 
the administration of fish and game matters in Massachusetts 
representatives of all the sportsmen's associations and indi- 
viduals from towns where no associations existed were called 
together to discuss the wild life situation. 

Sportsmen's Conference. 

In opening the meeting the Commissioner of Conservation 
discussed the interrelation of the forestry work, over which 
he as State Forester has immediate control,' with the wild 
life conditions under the charge of the Division of Fisheries and 
Game. 

Consideration of the main subject of the meeting followed, 
namely, the wild life situation and the problem facing the Divi- 
sion. Even the sportsmen and fishermen who are most closely 
interested in fish and game problems have, nevertheless, in the 
past had slight conception of the condition of wild life over the 
State as a whole, the innumerable phases of the work of fish and 
game conservation, the volume of the work, and particularly 
the financial resources. This lack of comprehensive knowledge 
has been productive in many quarters of dissatisfaction with the 
results which the officials have been able to produce. 

Director Adams outlined the Division's resources and the 
present status of wild life in the State, thus: — 

In undertaking the administration of the Division of Fisheries and 
Game I feel that the public should have the facts which will enable it 
to visualize the proportions of the job, and to understand how far the 



6 ' FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

work can be carried on with the finances and the agencies available. 
There are not sufficient resources at hand or in prospect to enable me to 
produce satisfactory results in any part of our work, speaking in State- 
wide terms, and the sooner the public understands this, the more im- 
mediate is assistance likely to be provided. 

In the law enforcement department there are these conditions, — the 
State is divided into 28 districts, averaging 415 square miles and con- 
taining from 5 to 22 cities and towns each. Each district (except one 
now vacant) is in charge of a deputy. Deputies in shore districts are 
expected also to patrol the vast water areas inside the 3-mile limit. Two 
deputies are used for special assignments. A chief deputy directs the 
work. The men draw a maximum monthly salary of $119.24. Some 
worked for years at a monthly maximum of $100. Those covering the 
more inaccessible districts are allowed a maximum traveling expense 
of $31 monthly; the others, $26. The Division owns four Ford cars 
and one motor cycle with a side car, located in the districts where they 
can be used to the greatest advantage. 

Massachusetts embraces one of the finest wild fowl grounds on the 
continent, and also over 350 miles of coast, within which area lie some 
of the most valuable fish and shellfish areas in the world. In these waters 
the Division annually places large numbers of live short lobsters taken 
from outside shipments. Yet the Department does not own a single 
boat with which to patrol this area or to use in planting fish and shell- 
fish. It is next to impossible to hire boats for police duty. A number 
of the deputies are kept out of their districts for substantial periods of 
the year to work on fish distribution, seining and operation of field 
stations. There is no alternative, for the work must be done, and there 
are no funds with which to hire outside help. No careful analysis of the 
foregoing is required to show that the number of men, operating expenses 
and equipment available are totally inadequate to satisfactorily enforce 
the fish and game laws of this State. 

In the work of fish propagation we face conditions like these, — there 
are approximately 950 great ponds in the State suitable to be stocked 
and 4,000 miles of streams, not to mention the alewife, smelt and other 
valuable fisheries in our coastal waters. Last year from the appropria- 
tion of $72,000 for propagation work, $40,015.35 was expended in the 
propagation of fish. Out of this sum three fish hatcheries and two rearing 
stations were operated, and $6,500 was expended in the distribution of 
fish (exclusive of the salaries of the wardens employed in the work) . Field 
stations were operated for collection of smelt eggs and for seining and 
distributing white perch, and small sums spent for miscellaneous work. 
Again it is evident that with this sum and the limited agencies little 
more than a start can be made towards adequately stocking all of these 
waters annually. The advent of the automobile having made waters 
easily accessible, unless a body of water can be substantially stocked 
every year but little is to be gained in the long run. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 7 

Again, when it comes to bird propagation, there are approximately 
8,000 square miles of land in the State, most of it suitable for some species 
of game. Last year (1919) $23,371.88 was spent in the propagation of 
pheasants, mallard ducks and some quail, black and wood ducks. The 
average price of the limited number of pheasants offered by commercial 
dealers ran from $3 to $5 per bird. Up to the present we have not been 
able to produce pheasants at this cost. From birds reared at the game 
farms and purchased from dealers, 1,481 young and 158 adult pheasants 
were distributed, together with 156 quail, 2,218 young and 347 adult 
mallards, 106 wood and 65 black ducks. Again it is evident that the stock 
distributed could make but little impression on the vast area to be covered. 

Five hundred and eighty-five white hares, costing $1,140, were dis- 
tributed, which is about the number which would be required annually 
to substantially stock any one of the many good white hare counties in 
the State. During the past three or four years mounting prices of all 
goods and supplies used at the stations, shortage of help and absence 
of funds to carry on the normal amount of replacement and new con- 
struction have seriously retarded production. But assuming maximum 
production, it is evident that the total is wholly insufficient to do the 
stocking required annually to maintain a reasonable supply of game in 
our covers. 

Fish distribution comes at a time when all of the trained force is needed 
at the hatcheries, so that practically all of the fish are delivered by our 
deputies to applicants, who receive the fish at the car door, having been 
previously instructed how to plant it. In spite of the good intentions of 
the receivers it is certain that many consignments of the fish, which have 
cost money and great labor to rear, are entirely wasted through im- 
proper planting. Each consignee provides transportation from the car 
door to the waters to be stocked. If the Department had to assume 
these transportation charges and provide a trained man to handle and 
plant each shipment, it would practically have to go out of business. 
Yet the fact remains that much of our work to-day goes to naught by 
reason of the foregoing circumstances. 

In 1909 the appropriation for operating the Department was $63,530; 
in 1914, $131,815; in 1919, $163,400. It will be seen, with the advance 
in prices of foods, materials and labor, that relatively we have had 
a small increase, if any, to meet the growing demands of the work. In 
1914 in the central office there were (exclusive of commissioners) seven 
to do the work. During the past year there have been eight persons. 
Meantime a new lobster license has been provided, as well as a combined 
hunting and fishing license, and the general volume of business has in- 
creased to the point where all of our force is so overworked that the 
taking on of new duties with the hope of discharging them adequately 
is out of the question without additions to the force. The quarters at 
the State House are so congested that the maximum efficiency cannot be 
gotten out of the force now at our command. 



8 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The foregoing statements reveal the present situation and what may 
reasonably be expected in the future development of the Division unless 
more money is provided. These facts, I believe, will enable the people 
in the Commonwealth who are interested in wild life to understand the 
situation as they never have before. There is no intention to present a 
mournful picture, or to lay the foundation for excuses^for failure to record 
accomplishments in the future. Every effort will be made to reduce the 
overhead and general operating expenses to a minimum and to utilize 
every facility at our stations for an increased production of stock. Like- 
wise with the force, funds and equipment available the laws will be 
enforced. 

The meeting was then thrown open for a discussion of the 
various phases of the work. There was a large attendance 
by representatives from all parts of the State, and most of 
the larger phases of the work were fully discussed, though no 
votes were taken on any proposition. At the dinner in the 
evening unusual wild life pictures were shown, and it was 
significant that long after the dinner was over groups of sports- 
men remained in the room, talking over various phases of the 
work. The great benefit from the conference and the dinner 
lay in bringing together men from all parts of the State to 
exchange their views publicly for the benefit of all. At the 
close there appeared to be a fuller appreciation and tolerance 
for the other man's sport, such as must be exercised in a State 
like ours, where, by reason of the differences in local conditions, 
the counties along the shore and the counties in the western 
section are as far removed in their problems as though separated 
by many hundreds of miles. 

Quarters. 
In August the Division was transferred to quarters on the 
fifth floor in the east wing of the State House, opposite the 
quarters of the Conservation Commission and Division of 
Forestry, thus bringing the two divisions together. 

Activities outside the State. 
The Director, on January 22, appeared before the committee 
on merchant marine and fisheries in Washington in opposition 
to the bill which sought to prohibit the shipment into the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 9 

United States of lobsters less than 10J inches in length, taken 
outside its territorial limits. 

On March 1 and 2, the Director, in company with the Com- 
missioner, attended the meeting of the American Game Pro- 
tective and Propagation Association in New York, where each 
year the game breeders of the country gather to discuss the 
many baffling problems in the propagation of game birds. 
Massachusetts contributed a paper on the winter feeding of 
birds. 

The Division was represented by its biologist at the con- 
vention of the National Association of Fisheries Commis- 
sioners at Atlantic City on June 15 to 17. 

On June 22 and 23 the Director was called to a meeting 
of the Advisory Committee to the Department of Agriculture 
on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, of which he is a member. 
July 26 he conferred in New York with the committee to which 
he was appointed by the advisory board for the purpose of lay- 
ing plans for the establishment of a wild life foundation. 

The meetings of the American Fisheries Society (September 
20 to 22) and of the International Association of Fish, Game 
and Conservation Commissioners, (September 23 and 24) held 
in Ottawa, Can., were attended by the Director, the Inspector 
of Fish and Superintendent Arthur Merrill. 

Finances. 

No material changes have been made in the method of 
handling appropriations, the present plan proving very satis- 
factory. The following table reveals the financial operations 
for the fiscal year Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920: — 



10 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 





Available 

1919 
Balances 

and 
Amounts 


Expended 
during 1920. 


Balances 

Nov. 30, 

1920. 




appropri- 
ated in 
1920. 






Salary of the Director, 


$3,800 00 


$3,799 98 


$0 02 


Personal services of office assistants, .... 


8,075 00 


7,905 01 


169 99 


Expenses, 


13,300 00 


12,806 17 


493 83 


Exhibitions, 


1,000 00 


952 66 


47 34 


Enforcement of laws: — 








Personal services, 


51,500 00 


50,839 23 


660 77 


Expenses, 


18,300 00 


18,126 24 


173 76 


Biologist: — 








Personal services, 


4,080 00 


4,050 00 


30 00 


Expenses, 


2,450 00 


1,847 64 


602 36 


Propagation of game birds, animals and food fish, 


85,887 00 


85,808 56 


78 44 


Sale and cold storage of fresh food fish, 


5,500 00 


4,201 27 


1,298 73 


Fishways (balance 1918 and 1919), 


15,131 92 


11,523 99 


3,607 93 


Chapter 153, Special Acts of 1919 (balance): — 








Rearing stations, 


2,500 00 


- 


2,500 00 




500 00 


493 80 


6 20 


Construction of a head trough at East Sandwich , . 


1,015 92 


- 


1,015 92 




1,850 00 


1,850 00 


- 


Construction of an ice house at Montague, 


300 00 


- 


300 00 


Construction of road at Montague, .... 


200 00 


189 30 


10 70 


Extending pond at Montague, . ' . 


300 00 


299 25 


75 


Construction of an ice house at Amherst, 


300 00 


- 


300 00 


Construction of an ice house at Pittsfield , 


300 00 


- 


300 00 




150 00 


- 


150 00 


Certain improvements and purchase of land, etc. 
(Chapter 225, General Acts of 1920). 
Amherst rearing station 


1,000 00 


951 47 


48 53 


Marthas Vineyard Reservation, .... 


650 00 


250 00 


400 00 


Montague rearing station, 


2,000 00 


1,462 11 


537 89 


Palmer fish hatchery, 


4,950 00 


2,654 70 


2,295 30 




4,475 00 


4,368 47 


106 53 


Sutton fish hatchery, . . . ■ . 


2,000 00 


1,995 73 


4 27 


Wilbraham game farm, 


500 00 


33 65 


466 35 


Totals, 


$232,014 84 


$216,409 23 


$15,605 61 



The following is the revenue received as a result of the ac- 
tivities of the Division of Fisheries and Game for the fiscal 



1920." 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



11 



year ending Nov. 30, 1920, and turned into the treasury of 
the Commonwealth: — 



Licenses (see analysis below), 

Sale of materials at game farms and fish hatcheries, 

Sales of game tags, 

Sale of forfeited rifle, 

Sale of forfeited deer, 

Sale of Hadley hatchery property, .... 
Sale of Adams hatchery property, .... 
Rent of Chilmark Pond, . . . ' . 

Rent of shanty at Monomoy, 

Interest on bank deposits, 



962 82 


5 50 


12 00 


104 78 


200 00 


1,200 00 


75 00 


10 00 


43 61 


S106,803 26 



Analysis of License Returns. 






Total 
Form of License. Number 
issued. 


Gross 
Value. 


Fees to 
Clerks. 


Net 

Return to 

State. 


Resident citizen's combination, at $1, 
Non-resident citizen's combination, at S10, 
Non-resident citizen's combination, at SI. 
Alien foreign-born combination, at S15, 
Minor trapper's, at 25 cents, 
Resident citizen's fishing, at 50 cents, 
Non-resident citizen's fishing, at $1 , 
Non-resident citizen's fishing, at 50 cents, 
Alien foreign-born fishing, at SI , 
Lobster fisherman's, at $1, 


94,600 

317 

228 

155 

1,069 

38,550 

2,864 

97 

1,448 

914 


S94.600 00 

3,170 00 

228 00 

2,325 00 

267 25 

19,275 00 

2,864 00 

48 50 

1,448 00 

914 00 


$14,104 80 
47 55 
34 20 
22 80 

160 35 
5,782 50 

429 60 
14 55 

217 20 

136 65 


$80,495 20 

3,122 45 

193 80 

2,302 20 

106 90 

13,492 50 

2,434 40 

33 95 

1,230 80 

777 35 


Totals 


140,242 


$125,139 75 


$20,950 20 


$104,189 55 



Thus the net return from licenses, after deduction of clerks' 
fees, was $86,220.55 for hunting or combination licenses, 
$17,191.65 for fishing licenses for inland waters, and $777.35 
for lobstermen's licenses, a total of $104,189.55, showing an 
advance over last year of $32,694.50. 

Associations. 
Each year finds the fish and game associations coming for- 
ward more and more with practical accomplishments for the 
cause. Mention can be made only of the largest and most 
original pieces of work, for to enumerate all the work in dis- 
tribution of stock, purchase and liberation of game and fish 



12 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

by private subscription, the molding of public sentiment and 
the support of desirable legislation, would be to call the entire 
roll, so general is now the work along these lines. 

The particular new features which have come to our attention 
in 1920 are: — 

The Springfield Fish and Game Association raised funds for 
an automobile which was placed at the disposal of the district 
warden. 

The Fitchburg Sportsman's Club by permission seined a local 
reservoir, where fish life had increased abundantly, and redis- 
tributed the fish in local ponds open to the public. 

The Canton Fish and Game Protective Association in the 
spring of 1920, under supervision of one of the State fish cul- 
turists, erected a rearing station on a brook in Sharon. There 
were 14,000 fry furnished by the State in July, and a member 
of the club living near by fed and cared for them. 

The president of the club wrote : — 

I never saw anything grow as fast as these fish. Many of them were 
6 inches long when we put them out, and I should say that the bulk of 
them were 5 inches in length the first of October. We started to put them 
out the first of September as the brook was pretty crowded as the fish 
grew. We got them out by October 1, and I think it is the best thing 
the club has done for fishing in Canton. We distributed the fish in all 
the trout brooks in Canton and Sharon, and it should make good fishing 
if this work is kept up for a few years. As to the expense to the club, 
it was surprisingly small. For labor and lumber it wouldn't amount to 
more than $20, as most of the work was done by the club members. The 
feed was about $85, with express. The distribution took six afternoons 
with a truck, and was done by club members. 

This is an example of what a body of live men can accom- 
plish for their locality. 

Similar stations are operated by the Southeastern Massachu- 
setts Fish and Game Association of Brockton, — where this year 
50,000 fry were reared to fingerlings, — and the Southern Worces- 
ter County Fish and Game Association. 

The Huntington Rod and Gun Club bought and planted 
wild rice seed. 

The Cape Cod Fish and Game Association took 650 bass 
from Long Pond, Falmouth, and distributed them in several 
of the larger ponds within the township. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 13 



EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY. 

It is difficult to separate into a special statement the work 
of the Division in relation to education. It should be empha- 
sized annually that the educational work of the Division, seek- 
ing to assist the people to think straight and conservatively 
in reference to the wild life problems, is one of the most im- 
portant branches of the service. Careful attention paid now 
to instructing the youth of the State to protect and use spar- 
ingly its natural resources will be the greatest factor of all 
twenty years hence in meeting the problems sure to arise. 
There will never be any more land in the Commonwealth. 
There will never be a larger number of great ponds, and the 
available streams are apt to diminish rather than grow. More 
wooded areas may develop, but it will be a long time before 
the annual growth will equal the annual cut. But the popu- 
lation will grow, and an increasing number of hunters and 
fishermen will go afield each year. The methods of trans- 
portation will quicken, and even the remote places will be- 
come increasingly accessible. The drains on our resources 
will enlarge, and the problem will be to meet all these with 
certain physical agencies which will never be greater. The 
Commonwealth must instruct its citizens, and this means that 
the youth of the land must be taken in hand. The problem 
must be made attractive, and conservatism must be taught. 

Lecture work, both with stereopticon slides and with moving 
pictures, has been continued as in other years. Forty-five such 
talks were given by the chief warden alone, not to mention the 
many by the Director and other officials. The lecture work 
should properly be conducted by an individual with no other 
duties. At present the burden is borne by officials responsible 
for important branches of the work, and the late hours en- 
tailed, following a full day of work at the office, constitute a 
severe strain. There have been acquired this year moving- 
picture films showing the heath hens of Marthas Vineyard in 
their characteristic mating season antics; Sutton trout hatch- 
ery; shipping of trout and salmon from Palmer hatchery; 
pheasant rearing at Wilbraham by use of hens, and at Marsh- 



14 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

field by incubator method; and seining of white perch at 
Tashmoo Lake, Marthas Vineyard. 

Nine exhibits of mounted specimens and live fish and game 
were made at county fairs, including one at the annual meet- 
ing of the National Grange in Boston and at the Eastern 
States Exposition at Springfield. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 15 



ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. 

Personnel. 

There were few changes in personnel. Fred R. Ziegler of 
Pittsfield left the service to enter private business, after having 
had charge of the central Berkshire district for the past fifteen 
years. In his resignation the Commonwealth lost an efficient 
officer. One addition was made in the appointment to the 
regular force of James A. Peck of Allston, a former special 
officer. William Day and Harry G. Higbee, superintendents 
of the Myles Standish State Forest and the Moose Hill bird 
sanctuary, respectively, are now rated as regular fish and 
game wardens. 

The force of volunteer unpaid wardens has been increased 
substantially. Although many of them, from pressure of busi- 
ness, are unable to devote much time to actual patrol work, 
yet in many communities it is felt that the moral effect of 
their possession of this authority is noticeable. 

Under the old regime the officers of this Division were known 
as "deputy fish and game commissioners," but with the reor- 
ganization their official title was changed to "fish and game 
wardens." Although the Legislature this year granted the 
funds to substantially increase their salaries it is yet felt that 
these men are underpaid, considering the exacting and haz- 
ardous nature of their duties. This is evidenced by the small 
number who seek appointment as wardens and the difficulty 
in getting men of the right caliber at the salary offered at the 
start; and unless some incentive is offered, this important work 
in time to come will fall upon persons lacking the necessary 
qualifications and interest to effectively push forward the 
cause when the present incumbents lay down their tasks. 

The public oftentimes little knows nor appreciates the scope 
of the duties performed by the wardens. Working, many 
times alone, at all hours of the day and night these men in- 
conspicuously and effectively carry out their tasks and bring 
to justice persons on whom peaceful persuasion fails and who 
will continue to break the laws until they are made to pay 



1G FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

the penalty. The Legislature of 1920 recognized the haz- 
ardous nature of the service by making provision for the re- 
tirement on half pay, for the remainder of their lives, of 
salaried wardens injured in the performance of their duties. 

At present, because there is no other available assistance, it 
is necessary to use the warden force, sometimes months at a 
time, on fish distribution, salvage work and work at the various 
stations. This is an additional handicap on law enforcement 
operations. 

It is a satisfaction to note the increasing interest on the 
part of the public in fish and game matters, and it is showing 
itself in a better observance of the laws and greater efforts 
to conserve the wild life, particularly by the winter feeding 
of the birds. The courts, too, are backing up our officers in 
punishing those brought before them for violations of the fish 
and game laws, for they realize that under present policies 
arrests are made as a last resort. 

Equipment. 

The one great, outstanding need of the law-enforcement 
work is the motorization of the force. This has been dwelt 
on in previous reports. With the advent of the automobile, 
which in one day will take sportsmen to several of the most 
remote hunting and fishing grounds, and with the constant 
curtailment of trolley and train schedules, to say nothing of 
increasing rates, the time has come when each warden should 
be equipped with an automobile to provide him with inde- 
pendent means of transportation. Until this is done, and 
while he must subject the needs of his service to the schedules 
of ordinary transportation, it cannot be expected that he can 
successfully cope with the motorized sportsman who a few 
years ago was unknown. Appropriations, however, prohibit 
appreciable progress on this line. During the past year suffi- 
cient money was granted to purchase two Ford touring cars 
and one Ford truck. Thus, with the two machines previously 
acquired and one borrowed from the biological department in 
busy seasons, there are six machines available for patrol work. 

A Ford touring car, to be used in law enforcement work in 
the Springfield district, was presented to Warden James P. 



1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



17 



Hatch by the Springfield Fish and Game Association. This 
donation exemplifies a splendid spirit of co-operation. 

The work of equipping the wardens with up-to-date revolv- 
ers, handcuffs, field glasses, snowshoes, and other equipment 
necessary in their work is nearly completed. 

Court Cases. 
The actual number of cases presented to the courts exceeded 
the total of last year. 

Classified Court Cases, Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920. 





T3 

o 

a 
| 

03 
O 

a 


a 

O 

O 


03 

O 

03 

ci 
U 

o 
£> 
S 

3 


Disposition. 


Violation. 


o 
M 

d 

o 

02 

s 


5 

o 
> 

o 
Q 


T3 
<g 
«8 

s 

a 
a 
< 


o 


Aliens with firearms, 


$900 


$5 


18 


4 


14 


2 


6 


Birds: — 
















Protected at all times, 


195 


10 


13 


1 


12 


3 


1 


Quail, close season, 


60 


- 


1 


- 


1 


1 


- 


Partridge, close season, 


60 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Pheasants, close season, 


25 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


- 


Waterfowl, close season, 


- 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


1 


Game: — 
















Exposing poison for birds or ani- 
mals. 
Deer, close season, 


50 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


150 


- 


4 


1 


3 


- 


- 


Using rifle during deer week, 


10 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Rabbits, close season . 


- 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


1 


Squirrels, close season, 


50 


- 


8 


- 


8 


- 


3 


Raccoons, close season, 


10 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Muskrats, close season, 


10 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


- 


Skunks, close season, . 


70 


- 


5 


- 


5 


- 


- 


General (game): — 
















Hunting without license, 


380 


15 


35 


1 


34 


- 


12 


Hunting on posted land, 


20 


- 


3 


1 


2 


- 


- 


Hunting on State reservation, 


10 


- 


3 


2 


1 


- 


- 


Hunting on Lord's Day, 


350 


- 


35 


1 


34 


- 


4 


Hunting during temporary close 

season. 
Assault on wardens, 


105 
15 


10 


10 
2 


1 


10 


- 


4 


Securing license unlawfully, 


35 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 



IS 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Classified Court Cases, Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920 — Concluded. 





i 

s 

© 


1 


f. 

■- 

■- 

S 
3 


Disposition. 


Violation. 


u 

u 

— 

T. 

5 


-•5 

O 

= 

a 


i 

z. 

< 


1 


General (game) — Con . 
















Refusing to show license, 


- 


" 


1 


i 


- 


- 


- 


Name not on traps, 


$45 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


- 


Trapping without owner's permit, 


50 


" 


7 


- 


7 


- 


2 


Illegal traps or snares, g • 


55 


" 


4 


- 


4 


- 


1 


r isn. — 
Bass, close season, 


5 


$5 


1 


_ 


, 


- 


_ 


White perch, short, 


400 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


1 


Trout, short, .... 


30 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


- 


Pickerel, short, .... 


11 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Pickerel, sale, .... 


- 


- 


1 


i 


- 


- 


- 


Lobsters: — 
Short lobsters 


406 


10 


16 


i 


15 


1 


2 


Interfering with traps, 


- 


- 


1 


i 


- 


- 


- 


Fishing without license, 


60 


- 


9 


r 


9 


- 


4 


Shellfish: — 
















Scallops, bag limit. 


10 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Scallops, taking without a permit, 


- 


- 


2 


i 


1 


- 


1 


Oysters, taking without a permit, 


- 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


2 


General (fish): — 
















Smelt, close season, 


25 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


3 


Fishing in fresh waters other than 

with hook and line. 
Seining in fresh water, 


25 


10 


4 
2 


; 


4 
2 


~ 


2 


Fishing in stocked waters without 

a license. 
Maintaining fish traps, 


446 
20 


5 


61 
3 


1 


60 
3 


_ 


13 
3 


Fishing with more than ten hooks, 


- 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


o 


Totals, 


$4,093 


$70 


288 


18 


270 


' 


6S 



Following convictions in court 5 fishing licenses, 61 com- 
bination licenses, 2 alien licenses, one non-resident license and 
2 lobster fishermen's licenses were revoked and 7 surrendered 
without court action. The loss of the license is in many cases 
a more severe punishment than the fine. 

There is an idea prevalent in many quarters that the aliens 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 19 

are the worst violators of the fish and game laws, but the fact 
that only one alien license has been revoked and that the 
number of aliens before the courts for failure to have a license 
was not exceptionally large, will bear out the belief that many 
times the public is too prone to place all the blame on the 
aliens, while, on the other trand, foreign-born residents are learn- 
ing to do their share in the protection of game. 

Xo attempt was made last year to enforce the provisions of 
the new fishing license law, the remainder of the year after 
its enactment being devoted to a campaign of education. En- 
forcement of the law was commenced this year, and 65 cases 
brought to court. 

While it is difficult to point to the work of any one warden 
as surpassing the record of another, the following are a few 
instances of exceptionally effective operations: — 

On April 1 Warden Fred R. Ziegler of Pittsfield, assisted 
by Wardens Hatch, Sargood, McCarthy, Monahan and Nichols, 
raided two houses at Richmond and took into custody three 
unnaturalized foreign-born residents. They were charged in 
court with illegal possession of firearms. Several firearms were 
seized and confiscated in the raid. 

On September 4 Wardens Grant and Ellis apprehended 
George Augostino, Genesieti Bruno and Joseph Dorzio at W 7 est 
Newbury under the same law. Each paid a $50 fine and for- 
feited his gun. 

Despite the wide publicity given to the close season on 
wood ducks by means of illustrated posters, John J. Bowman 
of Waltham killed three wood ducks in Littleton on September 
16. Wardens Backus and Crosby, operating in that section, 
took him into custody and found his machine parked within 
50 feet of one of these posters. He paid 830 in the Aver 
court on the following day. 

On October 9 Warden Grant and unpaid warden G. W. 
Manthone apprehended Giovanni Riccardo at Beverly with 
four robins in his possession, for which he paid a fine of S40 
in Judge George B. Sears' court in Salem. 

On January 30, at a time when the birds were maintaining 
a fight for existence during a rigorous winter, and while hun- 
dreds of persons were volunteering their services in putting 



20 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

out feed to tide them over, Strene Senti of Scituate took ad- 
vantage of the situation and shot three quail. When sum- 
moned before Judge George W. Kelley of Hingham by Warden 
Steele this offender was fined $60. 

Chalmers W. Shattuck of Winchendon admitted on March 
5 that he put out the poisoned bait which caused the death 
of three foxes and one dog. Warden Stratton haled this man 
before Judge Frank B. Spalter of Winchendon and a fine of 
$50 was imposed. 

Warden Macker of North Grafton apprehended Max Grat 
of Westborough with sixty-one short white perch, for which 
Judge William E. Fowler of Westborough imposed a fine of 
$330; however, because of the man's financial condition, the 
court accepted $40 in settlement of penalties. 

Sunday, October 17, Warden Seaman and Special Warden 
E. N. Grinnell found Gennirao De Iorio of Providence, R. I., 
hunting in Rehoboth. Charges for hunting on Sunday and 
having one gray squirrel in his possession were preferred. 
Judge Frederick E. Austin fined him $10 on each charge in 
the Taunton court. This man resisted arrest by threatening 
to use his shotgun on the officers should they attempt to 
take him. For this he paid an additional fine of $15. 

On August 14 Patsy Patianello of Florida killed a deer and 
paid a fine of $50 in the North Adams court on complaint of 
Warden Nichols. He was charged further with the violation 
of the alien gun law, but this charge was placed on file on 
forfeiture of the gun. 

On April 2 John Horr of Prescott, on complaint of Warden 
Shea, paid a fine of $50 for killing a deer out of season. 
Warden Shea also arrested Milton F. Webster of Maiden at 
Prescott on April 19 for taking short trout, for which a $20 
fine was paid. 

Federal Law^s on Migratory Birds. 
Following the decision of the Supreme Court establishing 
the constitutionality of the migratory bird treaty between the 
United States and Great Britain, the officers of the Biological 
Survey at Washington, thus definitely assured of the legality 
of their work, took such steps as their limited appropriations 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 21 

would permit to enforce the provisions of the law relative to 
migratory birds. Albert E. Stadlmeir of Lackawanna, N. Y., 
for many years an interstate commerce inspector and prior to 
that a New York State game warden, was assigned to cover 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, making his 
headquarters at Providence. In co-operation with the wardens 
of Massachusetts (all of whom are now United States deputy 
game wardens) Warden Stadlmeir laid plans early in August 
for enforcing the Federal regulations on shore birds. Be- 
lieving in fair play above all, the public were first informed 
through the press of the provisions of the existing laws, and 
the intention of the officials to enforce them. On August 16, 
eighteen wardens were assigned to cover the coastal territory, 
and in conjunction with Warden Stadlmeir carefully checked 
up all gunners, with the result that fifteen who had failed to 
heed the warning were haled before William A. Hayes, 2d, 
United States commissioner at Boston. 

Lobster Laws. 

It can be definitely stated that the lobster laws are being 
better observed, due largely to the splendid influence of the 
many lobstermeu's associations along the shores. The follow- 
ing comprise the most important cases for violations of the 
lobster laws : — 

On May 30 Martin Korajardski of Manchester was arrested 
by Wardens Babson and Grant for possession of thirteen short 
lobsters, and fined $26 by Judge George B. Sears of Salem. 
Failing to profit by this experience, on August 12 he was again 
arrested by Warden Babson for having four short lobsters, 
was fined $8 by the same judge, and automatically forfeited 
his license for one year, as is the case in convictions for a 
second violation of lobster laws. 

On the night of July 3 several wardens under the direction 
of Warden Ellis raided several of the South Shore hotels in 
quest of illegal lobsters. As a result, John Madan of Marsh- 
field on July 16 was fined $100 by Judge H. B. Davis of Plym- 
outh for having twenty short lobsters, and in the same court 
Delia J. Baron of Marshfield paid $40 for having eight " chicken 
lobsters" in her ice box. 



22 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

On August 7 Charles S. Bigwood of Salem was summoned 
before Judge George B. Sears by Warden Edward Babson and 
unpaid deputy B. W. Manthone to give reasons for possessing 
seven short lobsters. Having no adequate excuse and this 
being the second offence, he was fined $35 and lost the privilege 
of fishing for lobsters for one year. 

L. A. Cahoon of Beverly was found by Wardens Goodwin 
and Grant on September 24 with twenty-three short lobsters, 
and Judge Sears of Salem, when informed of the situation, de- 
creed that a deduction of $40 from Mr. Cahoon's receipts might 
enable him to remember the legal measurement a little better. 

On September 6 Carl F. Nor berg of Rockport, summoned 
before Judge York of Gloucester on complaint of W 7 arden Bab- 
son, for having twenty-four short lobsters, paid a fine of $48. 

At present the Division owns no boat which could be used 
to enforce the lobster laws, and it is impossible to state forcibly 
enough how great a handicap this is to the work. Further- 
more, it is next to impossible to hire a boat for patrol work, 
and until the Legislature sees the necessity of a boat for the 
enforcement of these as well as many of the laws pertaining 
to coastal hunting and fishing, there can be no remarkable 
achievements along this line. 

Legislation. 

At the present time it appears that the average sportsman 
is satisfied with the fish and game laws as they exist, and very 
little complaint is heard on the whole. 

The fish and game laws enacted by the Legislature of 1920 
were, briefly : — 

Chapter 139, providing for the utilization of scallops, which, owing to 
unusual circumstances, such as severe winter weather, could not be taken 
at the usual time, and which unless taken would be wasted. 

Chapter 208, extending the scope of the law protecting wild birds 
(chapter 20, General Acts of 1917) so as to include possession as well as 
capture. 

Chapter 273, permitting the use of live geese decoys in hunting water- 
fowl in Nantucket County. 

Chapter 284, giving to the selectmen of Marblehead the supervision 
of the taking of flounders within their harbor. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 23 

Chapter 291, authorizing ten-year leases of the alewife fishery in the 
stream running between Cohasset and Scituate, the former short-term 
leases having made the development of a fishery impracticable. 

Chapter 300, clearing up ambiguity in that part of the act relating to 
the licensing of minors, and providing a small fee for trapping certificates. 

Chapter 339, empowering the Commissioner of Conservation to make 
rules and regulations relative to the taking of salmon. 

Chapter 425, shortening the rabbit season, prohibiting sale of hares 
killed in Massachusetts, and closing Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket and 
Norfolk counties to rabbit hunting until 1923. 

Chapter 434, restricting the issuance of licenses for the catching of 
lobsters to citizens of the Commonwealth. 

Chapter 437, establishing a close season during breeding time on cer- 
tain fur-bearing animals. 

The recommendations made to the Legislature for changes 
in the fish and game laws will be found in the Appendix. 



24 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



BIOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT. 

General. 

The past year has witnessed a marked development in 
practically all branches of the work of the biological depart- 
ment, brought about by the establishment of a permanent 
laboratory at the State House, the equipment of a traveling 
laboratory, the use of an automobile in field work, the em- 
ployment of a field and a clerical assistant, and a separate 
financial budget. All of these circumstances have tended to 
place the biological department in a position to widen the 
scope of its routine and research work upon the many and 
varied problems having to do with fish and game. The labora- 
tory is now equipped with tables, running water, electric and 
gas fixtures, and the apparatus necessary to a well-appointed 
laboratory. Thus, for the first time in the history of the Divi- 
sion, it is possible for its laboratory work to be conducted at the 
center of activities. 

Reports. 

Two special reports were printed: "Standard Methods for 
the Examination of Lakes and Streams" and "A Report upon 
the Alewife Fisheries of Massachusetts." 

Survey of Inland Waters. 
During the winter months considerable attention was de- 
voted to the classification of the lakes and streams of the 
Commonwealth from data secured in previous surveys, with 
the idea of establishing a definite stocking policy, by thus 
throwing light upon the various problems of fish environment. 
The specific proposition of ascertaining the advisability and 
proper method to be pursued in the stocking of the Westfield 
River with brown trout was similarly worked out. 

Smelt. 
An attempt was made to study the spawning habits of the 
smelt and the results obtained from artificial planting of smelt 
spawn, but the failure of the Weir River run of smelt rendered 
completion of the work impossible. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 25 



Alewife. 

'Work with the alewife this year comprised a study of its 
spawning habits, observations on the runs in various streams, 
and investigation of methods of transplanting and artificial 
hatching. Investigation of dam locations on the more im- 
portant alewife streams were conducted, with a view to bring- 
ing about the installation of fishways where they might be 
necessary to re-establish or perpetuate the fisheries. In many 
instances owners of such obstructions were interviewed with 
regard to this matter, their dams surveyed, and plans for satis- 
factory forms of fishways submitted to them. 
• 

Bird Diseases. 

Observations were made upon a spontaneous sarcoma oc- 
curring in semiwild mallard ducks on Suntaug Lake, Lynn- 
field. 

Fish Diseases. 

The entire summer was spent in the study of a disease epi- 
demic among trout at the East Sandwich hatchery, detailed 
report of which appears with the report of the Sandwich 
hatcheries. It proved to be of extraordinary virulence and 
wide distribution, being by nature bacterial, and causing a 
form of blood poisoning. Although no cure for the diseased 
fish was found, the study proved highly satisfactory as regards 
prevention of a recurrence of this incident. 

Acknowledgment is made at this time of the courtesy of the 
L'nited States Bureau of Fisheries in permitting certain phases 
of this work to be conducted at its Woods Hole station. 

Pollution. 
The effect upon brook trout of certain chemicals present in 
trade wastes was investigated, and observations made as to 
the minimum amount necessary for direct injury. 



2(3 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS. 

Breeding Seasox. 

Consequent to the long struggle to preserve an existence 
through the rigorous winter of 1919-20 (a period of almost 
unbroken cold, continuous snows and scarcity of food) the 
birds which survived entered on the breeding season in a 
depleted physical condition, and there was good reason to fear 
that the results of the winter would be reflected in the spring 
hatch. While some parts of the State had reasonably good 
weather, in many sections there were periods of low temper- 
ature, cold rains and dampness. But in spite of this the ma- 
jority of the reports are to the effect that the birds did well, 
producing normal broods, and in many cases larger broods 
than usual. 

Posted Land. 

So far as can be observed the posting of land has not in- 
creased. In certain sections, through the co-operation of the 
local sportsmen's associations, much land formerly posted has 
been again opened. While the number of persons interested 
in wild life is increasing, a greater spirit of tolerance towards 
the sportsmen during the open season is being shown by 
them. On the other hand, greater vigilance is being dis- 
played to stop all hunting during the close season, and the 
landowners are becoming more and more a factor in assisting us 
in this work. 

Winter Feeding. 

The tendency of the past few years appears to have been 
to give increasing attention to the artificial propagation of 
game and game birds, with decreasing attention to the care 
and increase of the stock in the wild, other than to provide 
shorter open seasons and bag limits. Prior to the time that 
the artificial propagation of certain game birds was started 
in the United States on a rather large scale by a few individuals 
and some of the State fish and game commissions, the accumu- 
lated knowledge of the habits of the native game birds was 
applied but little in a practical way toward surrounding the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 27 

birds with those conditions which would be especially favorable 
to them during the breeding cycle. In the "old days" the 
tendency was to say, as the birds began to decrease in num- 
bers, that there should be shorter open seasons, bag limits, 
and more complete law enforcement, and to let it go at that. 
If the birds had a particularly hard winter, followed by an 
unfavorable breeding season, the matter was apt to be taken 
philosophically, with -the remark that the birds "would come 
back." This process of "coming back" meant little or noth- 
ing as far as human agencies to assist them were concerned, 
and actually only represented the optimism of those interested 
in bird life that nature would favor the birds over a substantial 
period of time and that all the destructive agencies would 
operate at a minimum. In other words, after taking steps to 
curb the destructive tendencies of man, the birds were left 
to their own devices in their fight for self-preservation. 

With the advent of the game farm began an intensive study 
of causes and effects in the life history of the native game 
birds, and our knowledge has been enlarged. As a result, more 
people are asking whether the same principles which apply to 
the care of game birds in captivity should not be considered 
in connection with the wild stock, so called, in the open. And 
first and foremost arises the question, " If it is true of the birds 
in captivity that one of the first essentials of a successful 
breeding season is healthy, strong and virile brood stock, isn't 
it just as true that the wild birds, to enter upon a successful 
breeding season, should be in like condition?" "Is it reason- 
able to suppose that birds which have had to fight for their 
existence through the rigors of a long, hard winter, and who 
enter upon the breeding period in a worn-out, devitalized con- 
dition, will breed as satisfactorily as birds which have come 
through the ordeal in a hardy and vigorous state?" There 
can be but one answer. Hence the activities of the Division 
over a period of several winters past. 

The most important single factor appears to be suitable 
food, — not only grains but likewise grit. The quail and 
pheasants require the greatest attention. The grouse, if lo- 
cated in a good grouse country, is amply able to obtain a 
sufficient food supply. Should he find himself during a try- 



2S FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

ing period on any other than a favorable range, not much can 
be done for him. 

Proof of the value of winter feeding is furnished by the fol- 
lowing incident. A farmer in Marshfield, who had fed several 
flocks of quail on his land, missed an entire covey of ten after 
the storm of March 6, 1920, and gave them up for lost. On 
the 11th after the snow had melted somewhat, three returned, 
and on the 14th the entire ten were back. Later he found the 
spot where they had been imprisoned under the snow for eight 
days. That these birds returned alive and well after a week 
under the snow without food is without question due to the 
fact that they were well fed and in good condition before the 
storm imprisoned them. 

Feeding methods have been described rather fully in pre- 
vious reports. Each year presents a different problem, weather 
conditions being the determining factor. 

For the winter of 1919-20 a period of extreme and extraord- 
inary severity must be recorded, and one which brought great 
hardship and loss to the wild life of the State. It was the 
most trying winter in the experience of the Division. About 
the middle of January there was a heavy snowfall all over the 
State, which was drifted badly by the accompanying high 
winds. From that time until February 1 there was a period 
of continuous cold, frequent snows, and temperatures ranging 
as low as 16 below in the eastern and 25 below in the western 
part of the State. Even after the backbone of the first long 
cold wave was broken, frequent and severe storms kept the 
ground covered and feed inaccessible. 

With the coming of the severe weather, appeals were made 
through the press to organizations and individuals to do their 
part in providing food and forming artificial shelters by piling 
ud boughs, or lacing them together to form sheltered places in 
which to place the feed. Grain was distributed by the wardens, 
and sent to applicants on request as long as funds permitted. 
There was 8934.14 expended for grain from the Division's 
appropriations. In practice it is difficult to place the grain 
with those persons who will use it for game and songbirds 
rather than for sparrows and pigeons. Accompanying each 
shipment of grain was a notice to feed the birds only when they 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 29 

were in extremis; that it was not a question of keeping them 
fat, but rather of keeping them alive, and that this was all 
the State's resources permitted. The sum set aside for this 
work was exhausted long before the critical period was past. 
Upon learning this donations for the purchase of grain were 
made by the Massachusetts Audubon Society ($200), Mabel 
Lyman of Cambridge ($5), and R. P. Shumway of Boston 
(S50). Even with this help it was impossible to supply 117 
applicants. Every agency by which the birds could be reached 
was utilized. Wardens, familiar with the coveys in their dis- 
tricts, nursed these along through the season. The roads 
being badly blocked, such methods of feeding were adopted 
as throwing grain from the rear of trains; feeding along milk 
routes; and local citizens, hunters, boy and girl scouts carried 
the work into more remote localities. As an illustration of 
the extent to which individuals participated in the work, one 
man — Thomas Rice, Esq., of Fall River — cared for over 
forty flocks of quail until the going became so bad that he 
could not reach them. At one feeding station, near a dwell- 
ing and convenient for observation, 21 pheasants and 20 quail 
were seen feeding at the same time. No attempt was made 
by the pheasants to drive the quail away or show fight, re- 
futing the claim that pheasants drive away the other game 
birds. 

At the close of the season a donation was received of 1,300 
pounds of rice damaged in transit by creosote. Being received 
too late for use this year, it was aired to free it from the creo- 
sote and kept for next year. Birds to whom samples of it 
were fed ate it readily. 

The feeding of the waterfowl presents an unsolved problem. 
It is a singular commentary on things that in a State like 
Massachusetts the black ducks and many of the diving ducks 
will linger as the winter approaches, and elect to fight it out 
midst the ice and snow and bleak head winds of our coastal 
region rather than to lift into the air and fly southward for 
a few hours into regions more favorable and where ample food 
is to be found. Each winter brings reports from, one locality 
or another of great suffering and death among the waterfowl. 
Though many such rumors have been followed up, no evidence 



30 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

has been found to show that the loss through winter conditions 
is anything more than would normally be expected. For in- 
stance, ducks and gulls were reported as dying from winter 
conditions at Moon Island. The trouble was found to come 
not from cold or starvation, but from oil floating on the 
water, which gummed up the birds' feathers so as to make them 
helpless. A significant incident occurred at Moon Island, Bos- 
ton Harbor, incident to photographing the wild fowl which 
congregate in large numbers at the open ice holes near the 
great sewer outlets. Waiting at one of these holes for the 
return of the birds, which had been frightened away at his 
approach, the warden, after ten or fifteen minutes, saw three 
whistlers emerge from the water in the hole and swim about, 
showing signs of extreme exhaustion. They were captured 
without difficulty and revived at the life-saving station. The 
probability is that these ducks had dived for food in a distant 
water hole; had come up under the ice, struggled along under 
it, and had they not found the open hole would have suffocated 
and been carried off by the tide. No doubt this is the cause 
of a certain amount of the winter mortality. 

The attempts which have been made to feed the diving 
birds have been, on the whole, unsatisfactory. No notice is 
taken of the grains dropped into the deep water, nor do they 
take cut-up fish or bread, and the food is appropriated by the 
gulls in a short time. Most of the air holes occur in localities 
where the water is too deep for the black ducks to dive for 
their food, and corn scattered on the ice around the opening 
merely freezes into the ice out of reach. In considering the 
problem of winter feeding the wild fowl the wisdom of a 
course which would localize the birds by feeding at the begin- 
ning of winter is open to question. 

Hunting Season. 
Taking into consideration the comparatively small area, the 
density of population, and the annual drain on the game in 
our covers and the fish in our waters by the 150,000 hunters 
and fishermen, it must be admitted that Massachusetts offers 
a remarkable assortment of opportunities for hunting and fish- 
ing. And it is up to the sportsmen to realize that this is their 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 31 

sport, and that they can make or break it, depending on their 
attitude toward the problems. If they are satisfied with a 
reasonable amount of game or fish in a day's outing, find a 
large portion of their sport coming from the opportunity to 
get into the big outdoors and in the well-done work of a good 
dog, without feeling the necessity of killing everything in sight, 
and without regret over the shots missed or fish lost, they will 
be putting themselves into the proper frame of mind to get 
the most out of the good things around them. 

When the hunting season of 1920 opened on October 20, 
the weather was very warm. Summerlike weather had pre- 
vailed continuously up to that time, and the leaves were still 
on the trees and bushes. Little or no rain had fallen for a 
long time over the entire State, and Cape Cod, where there 
had been no rain for five weeks, was literally a tinder box. 
A warning was issued by Acting Governor Channing H. Cox, 
calling attention to the condition of the fields and woodlands 
and the danger from fires, to the authority of the Governor 
to suspend the open season when conditions required, and 
urging all citizens, as well as those who might go afield, to 
use the utmost care in preventing fires. 

The hope was held that drastic action might be avoided, 
but by the end of the week fires had sprung up all over the 
State, especially serious on Cape Cod. The conditions were 
so serious that on the 23d the Acting Governor, on the request 
of the Commissioner of Conservation, acting under chapter 422, 
Acts of 1906, suspended the prevailing open season for hunt- 
ing until further notice. 

It was with the greatest regret that the officials took this 
action, realizing how keen a disappointment it would be to the 
gunners; consequently it was correspondingly gratifying to note 
the good spirit and high quality of sportsmanship with which 
the situation was accepted. The drought was not broken until 
the night of the 27tb, when a drenching rain fell. On the 
afternoon of the 28th the Governor lifted the ban. 

The Commissioner of Conservation and the Director of 
Fisheries and Game on October 27 filed a bill, providing for 
the extension of the season by a period equivalent to the days 
lost through its suspension, for action at the special session of 



32 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

the Legislature expected to convene in the middle of November. 
No action was taken on this bill as the Legislature convened 
too late. A similar provision was recommended by the Com- 
missioner of Conservation for consideration at the regular 
session. 

Migratory Birds. 

Song and Insectivorous Birds. 

There is nothing of special moment to report in connection 
with the song and insectivorous species for 1920, the activities 
of the Division in this connection being practically limited to 
enforcement of the protective laws. 

Permits were issued to 70 individuals for the collection of 
specimens of birds, eggs and nests for scientific purposes; 69 
reports on these permits were made; 624 birds were reported 
as collected and 614 eggs; average number of birds taken per 
person, based on number of reports, 9 + ; average of eggs taken 
per person, 8+. 

Migratory Game Birds. 

Each succeeding year seems to present a new problem in the 
fight to keep the wild life from decreasing. A new problem 
which has appeared is the presence of oil or waste material 
of some character on the waters. During the past summer 
reports have been received of sick and crippled shore birds in 
an area greatly polluted by oil and other substances floating 
on the water and deposited on the surface of the marsh. 

Shore Birds. — The spring flight had little to mark it from 
the common. The return flight in the summer and early fall 
was characterized by the presence of a larger number of small 
birds, particularly the common peep, than has been noted for 
several years. 

Upland Plover. — It is regrettable to be obliged to state 
that the upland plover is just about holding its own. Al- 
though granted complete protection in this State, the birds 
do not appear to be increasing. The fact that more of them 
are being reported, and further inland from the shore districts, 
which of late have been their principal range, is a hopeful sign. 

Black-breasted Plover. — A slight increase can be reported in 
the black-breasted plover. The spring migration was rather 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 33 

light-, but the summer and fall migration disclosed relatively 
more birds than usual. 

Golden Plover. — Golden plover are slightly on the increase, 
more being reported on the summer and fall migration than 
has been the case for several years. 

Killdeer Plover. — The killdeer plover was noted in about 
the same numbers on the return migration. 

Piping Plover. — The piping plover is holding its own, though 
this year flocks of birds on certain ranges, as, notably, around 
the Third Cliff, Scituate, were broken up by a severe storm. 

Woodcock. — The spring migration had little to distinguish 
it from the usual. It is evident that the breeding season in 
this Commonwealth and to the north was unusually favorable, 
for more woodcock were reported on the fall migration through- 
out the State and throughout the whole New England district 
than has been observed for several years. 

As the law now stands the sportsmen are practically pre- 
cluded from hunting any of the native-bred birds, for the 
most of them have moved on by the time the season opens on 
the 20th of October. There may be other contributing causes, 
as, for example, the closing of what have heretofore been long 
open seasons in the South, and the more rigid enforcement of 
the regulations prohibiting sale. 

Jack, or Wilson's, Snipe. — The migrations of the Jack snipe 
were not marked by anything unusual. In previous reports 
it has been stated that the snipe as a sporting bird is very 
much overlooked in this State. Beginning with the open 
season on the 16th of September to well into October they are 
found in many places and in substantial numbers. The indi- 
cations are that the snipe is gradually on the increase. 

Doicitcher or Red-breasted Snipe. — The dowitcher was noted 
over a larger range than usual, and in slightly greater numbers. 

Sandpipers. — The spotted sandpiper breeds in the State, 
and reports from many districts mentioned a larger number 
of breeding birds in the past season than usual, and that the 
season was especially favorable. 

Yelloiv Legs. — The spring flight was about on time and 
moved northward on schedule. The return migration was 
marked by an unusual number of birds, especially around the 



34 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

opening of the shooting season on August 16, and many sports- 
men along the entire shore district obtained their bag limits. 
The winter yellow legs we believe to be slowly on the increase. 

Willet. — It is always difficult to make a comparison from 
year to year, but the reports indicate that the willet is holding 
its own, with some prospect that the bird will escape extinction. 
It is easily decoyed, and it is to be marveled at that the bird 
has not already gone with some of the other of the larger 
species. 

Hudsonian Curleiv. — It is particularly gratifying to be able 
to report the presence of more Hudsonian curlew along our 
shores than have been noted for a number of years. They 
were not localized in any one place, but showed up at various 
points on both the North and the South shores. 

Godwit. - — The best that can be said of this species is that, 
taken in conjunction with the flights of the other shore birds 
as they move along, the godwit was sufficiently in evidence to 
show that, enjoying as it does the increased protection afforded- 
by the Federal law, it is now holding its own. 

Rail. — The rails, and especially the Sora, are being sought 
more and more as part of the game bag, especially in connec- 
tion ^ with the shooting of the snipe. The rails are increasing 
in the localities that are especially favorable to them, that is 
to say, in the reedy areas along the sluggish watercourses. 

Wood Duck. — Whether it is due to the efforts of the Di- 
vision in the propagation of wood ducks, together with the 
protection granted, or to the increased protection under the 
Federal regulations, it can be stated that the wood duck is 
gradually increasing. The other side of the story is that the 
natural range of the wood duck is being encroached upon more 
and more each year by the drainage of the shallow ponds and 
the gradual building up around other ponds, making a more 
rapid restriction on the range of these birds than of any other 
wild fowl. In order to further protect this species Dr. John 
C. Phillips of Wenham contributed $605.85 to the publication 
and distribution of a poster showing the plumage of the adult 
male, the adult female and the young male in September. 
The drawings were by Louis Agassiz Fuertes. This poster 
was hung in public places throughout the entire State and 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 35 

bore suitable legends, cautioning the sportsmen to make certain 
of the species before shooting. 

Mallard Buck. — With the discontinuance of artificial propa- 
gation of the mallard duck, the numbers noted in the State 
have slightly fallen off. The mallard is little more than an 
occasional visitor, though, like the pintails, some are taken 
every year. 

Red-head. — Red-heads did not show up in usual numbers, 
and there has been less red-head shooting in the last year or 
two than formerly. Some of this may be attributed to cli- 
matic and food conditions, for the indications are that in other 
sections the red-head is enjoying the same increases that can 
be reported of other species. 

Canvasback. — The canvasback is an occasional visitor, 
though from time to time flocks of substantial size are noted. 
Fewer were seen this season than usual. 

Black Duck. — The black duck is greatly on the increase. 
It is breeding in greater numbers than has been the case for 
years, and seems to stand the winters remarkably well. 

Bluebill. — The usual flight of bluebills was reported a little 
heavier than usual in some localities, and a little later in others. 

Scoter. — Scoters were reported in increasing numbers. This 
year there "has been considerable complaint of the damage 
done by them to the shellfish beds, especially to scallops. 

Sheldrake. — The sheldrake are enjoying a relative increase 
in numbers. 

Geese and Brant. — The flight of geese all through December, 
1919, was very satisfactory, and bore out the promise of the 
earlier part of the season in that it was a banner year for 
goose shooting. The spring flight marked the congregating of 
a more than usual number of geese on our shore. The flight 
continued under normal conditions. Beginning with the return 
flight in October, the flight was a sustained one up to the close 
of the period covered by this report, to wit, November 30. 
Up to that time more geese had been killed than has been 
known in this State for many years. The fall flight was very 
heavy, and the flocks were made up of a larger number of 
families containing young birds than is usual, indicating that 
these birds came from the first laid eggs. 



36 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Sivan. — It was reported that a flock of ten swan stayed 
near the geese decoys at a stand in Duxbury for quite a period 
of time during one day. 

Statistics of the Gunning Stands. — The numbers of ducks and 
geese taken at the stands and the number of decoys used during 
the past three years are of interest as showing the extent of 
the flights and the success of the stands. 



Open Season of — 


Number 
of Stands 
reported. 


Number 

of Decoy 

Ducks 

used. 


Number 

of Decoy 

Geese 

used. 


Number 

of Ducks 

shot. 


Number 

of Geese 

shot. 


1917, 

1918 

1919 


67 
53 

74 


2,093 

2,1122 

5,133 


1,793 

2,4522 

4,462 


3,495i 
5,3492 
8,322 


726 ! 
2,0652 
2,458 



1 Data for 51 of the 67 stands operated. No figures available for the other 16. 

2 Data for 52 of the 53 stands operated. No figures available for the other one. 

This year, for the first time since 1906, the use of live goose 
decoys was permissible in Nantucket County, as the result of 
legislation (chapter 273, Acts of 1920). 

Migratory Bird Law. — On April 19, 1920, the Supreme 
Court of the United States handed down a decision sustaining 
the validity of the treaty between the United States and 
Great Britain, and establishing the constitutionality of the 
migratory bird treaty act enacted to carry out the provisions 
of the treaty. With its status established beyond the possi- 
bility of further question, the full benefits of the Federal law 
may now be reaped. The Advisory Committee to the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was 
called together at Washington, D. C, on June 21 and continued 
in session two days. The Director of the Division continues 
as a member of the Board. 

Lighthouses versus Migratory Birds. — Out of 44 lighthouses 
from which reports were received, 8 reported birds killed. 
These are: Cape Poge Light, Edgartown, 4 gulls and 1 black 
duck; Duxbury Pier Light, Plymouth, 2 marsh hens; Long 
Point Light, Provincetown, 1 black duck and 1 sheldrake; 
Minots Ledge Light, Cohasset, 25 small land birds; Monomoy 
Point Light, Chatham, 1 white-winged coot, 1 eider duck, 1 
surf scoter; Nauset Beach Light, North Eastham, 1 black duck; 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 37 

Sandy Neck Light, Barnstable, 1 gray coot, 15 flycatchers, 
2 sparrows; Tarpaulin Cove Light, Tarpaulin Cove, 20 black 
ducks, frozen. 

Migratory Non-Game Birds — Gulls and Terns. 

Each year a considerable destruction of eggs and young oc- 
curs at the breeding places of the gulls and terns, due to sum- 
mer visitors, children and collectors. This year cloth signs, 
posted on all such breeding grounds whether extensive or small 
in area, called attention to the fact that gulls and terns (and, 
indeed, all breeding birds) are protected by law. 

It may be said that unquestionably the terns are increasing 
year by year, and numerous large breeding colonies and in- 
numerable small ones are scattered along the coast wherever 
a locality offers favorable conditions. For the larger colonies 
at Monomoy, Chatham, Nauset Harbor, Katama Beach, and 
this year for the first time on Muskeget Island, caretakers were 
appointed during the breeding season. 

Wilson's or Common Terns. — In spite of a certain amount of 
mortality due to the elements, the breeding season was a 
satisfactory one. On June 18 a heavy gale occurred, the ac- 
companying extremely high tide flooded the beach at Chatham, 
and not a nest remained on the north beach where a few days 
before 1,000 eggs had been counted. The eggs were found 
next day piled in windrows at high-water mark. Some of the 
birds laid again and these eggs were destroyed by a high tide 
July 9; but the greater number of birds left the north beach 
after the first disaster and laid second litters on the south 
beach, — a more favorable location, free from vermin, undis- 
turbed by man, and less exposed to storms. Aside from the 
loss of eggs (and these were replaced) the mortality was slight. 

The storm of June 18 devastated the Monomoy colony 
likewise, covering the eggs with sand and washing them out of 
the lowest nests. None were lost, only buried or set afloat. 
±sext day the caretaker, noticing the birds attempting to dig 
out their eggs, collected and placed on high ground 1,200 eggs, 
which were rolled by the birds into nests which they had 
formed near by. Some birds appropriated six of the salvaged 
eggs. The rescued eggs were watched carefully, and they ap- 



38 . FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

peared to hatch as well as those which had been undisturbed. 
In the nests of 6 eggs only 4 matured. 

The colony at Orleans also suffered from the storm, and 
the birds which hatched were from the second laying. 

Roseate and Arctic Terns. — The roseate and Arctic terns are 
rapidly establishing themselves; 200 pairs of Arctics nested at 
Chatham, and as many more at Monomoy. Roseate terns in 
numbers exceeding the previous year (probably 100 pairs) 
reared young on the south beach at Chatham, and 200 pairs 
did likewise at Monomoy. 

Least Terns. — Least terns are establishing themselves 
wherever suitable locations offer. Some 30 pairs bred on the 
Duxbury beach, but were broken up by the gale of June 16 
to 18, and pairs and single birds were seen thereabouts all 
summer. The entire stretch of the south shore of Marthas 
Vineyard may be regarded as one great breeding ground, with 
small groups of nests of both common and least terns in every 
suitable location. Fairly large colonies of least terns are at 
Katama (101 nests this year) ; 50 pairs, more than ever before, 
at Watcha Pond; 34 nests at Oyster Pond; and innumerable 
small groups. 

Laughing Gulls. — Laughing gulls, once near complete ex- 
tinction, breed in great numbers on Muskeget Island, and 
though the breeding is confined to this locality thus far, they 
are seen commonly around the shores of Nantucket, Marthas 
Vineyard and the mainland. The season was a normal one, 
and though July 3 brought a heavy rain, no great loss of the 
newly hatched birds was apparent. 

Upland Game. 
Pheasants. 
The spring breeding season was a favorable one, and the 
conditions which prevailed throughout the year were good. 
Despite the fact that the stockings throughout the State were 
nearly double those of previous years, the complaint was that 
the birds were wary and in some localities scarce. The exces- 
sive dryness of the early part of the season undoubtedly had 
a great, deal to do with the difficulty in finding the birds. It 



1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



39 



is found that the birds are becoming more difficult to pursue as 
the years go on and the annual open season is maintained. 

Pursuant to the authority contained in chapter 401, Acts of 
1914, an open season on pheasants was declared by the De- 
partment from Oct. 20 to Nov. 20, 1920, in all counties except 
Dukes; limit, 2 in one day, 6 in a season; killing to be re- 
ported in writing within twenty-four hours, stating date, town 
in which killed, number and sex of the birds. The number 
reported killed in 1920 is 529 less than in 1919, the greatest 
falling off being in Middlesex (339 less) and Norfolk (110 
less) counties. 



Pheasants reported shot in Open Season of 1920. 



Coram 


Cocks. 


Hens. 


Total. 


Barnstable, . 




10 


7 


17 


Berkshire, 
















22 


12 


34 


Bristol, . 
















83 


38 


121 


Essex, . 
















153 


108 


261 


Franklin, 
















34 


17 


51 


Hampden, 
















89 


41 


130 


Hampshire, 
















77 


55 


132 


Middlesex, 
















311 


205 


516 


Nantucket, 
















96 


59 


155 


Norfolk, 
















122 


97 


219 


Plymouth, 
















79 


34 


113 


Suffolk, 
















5 


2 


7 


Worcester, 
















142 


76 


218 


Locality not reported, 












2 


1 


3 


Totals, 






1,225 


752 


1,977 



We are of the opinion that, owing to carelessness and indiffer- 
ence, and in many instances a willful holding back of informa- 
tion, not more than 20 per cent of the birds killed in the State 
were reported this year. 



40 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Summary of Statistics of Open Seasons on Pheasants (each covering One 
Month) since the Opening of the Season in 191 If. 



[Dates of open season, 1914, 1915, 1916, October 12 to November 12; 1917, 1918 


November 1 to 


November 30; 1919, 1920, October 20 to November 20.] 






County. 


1914. 


1915. 


1916. 


1917. 


1918. 


1919. 


1920. 


Barnstable, . . . £i . 


31 


16 


16 


Closed 


Closed 


7 


17 


Berkshire, ..... 


477 


338 


103 


60 


27 


17 


34 


Bristol, 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


245 


196 


184 


121 


Dukes, 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Essex 


2,583 


1,460 


845 


499 


308 


271 


261 


Franklin 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


38 


38 


54 


51 


Hampden, 


467 


254 


196 


166 


133 


174 


130 


Hampshire, 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


195 


161 


188 


132 


Middlesex, 


2,832 


1,916 


1,054 


803 


510 


855 


516 


Nantucket, 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


144 


155 


Norfolk 


655 


628 


365 


280 


191 


329 


219 


Plymouth 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


182 


185 


124 


113 


Suffolk 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


6 


9 


5 


7 


Worcester, 


1,898 


1,229 


554 


298 


158 


151 


218 


Locality not reported, 


- 


- 


- 


- 


7 


3 


3 


Totals 


8,943 


5,841 


3,133 


2,772 


1,923 


2,506 


1,977 



It may be mentioned as a matter of interest that in 1906 and 
1907 there was an open season on male Mongolian, English and 
Golden pheasants during the open season for quail (chapter 482, 
Acts of 1906). No statistics were kept. Thereafter the season 
was closed (chapter 477, Acts of 1908) and not re-opened until 
1914. 

Ruffed Grouse. 

The close season on grouse, provided by chapter 153, General 
Acts of 1919, would expire on Oct. 20, 1920, unless extended by 
the General Court of that year. On Dec. 3, 1919, the recom- 
mendations for legislation were filed. Until such time as the 
facts could be ascertained, a closed season for a further period 
of three years on ruffed grouse was recommended. The legisla- 
tive hearing occurred on March 11, 1920. Prior to the hearing 
over fifteen hundred questionnaires were sent by the Division to 
the sportsmen's associations and to individuals in all cities and 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



41 



towns in order to discover the conditions. Following is a sum- 
mary of the reports and the decision as to how the matter should 
be handled. 



County. 


© 
S 
■- 
a 
a 
qq 


72 

s 

1 

9 

G 


3 

o 

o 


o 

U2 

d 

o 

a 
O 

> o 


c3 

5 

m 

5 
a 
O 
O 

CO . 

2 c 
a 

O. n 




o.B >-' 

C «Ph 
Sffa 

O^ s 

— o 

- r. 
O C =3 
> § » 


8.9 * 

II* 

O 


Favor Conserva- 
tion Commis- 
sion determin- 
ing Season. 


Oppose Conserva- 
tion Commis- 
sion determin- 
ing Season. 


Barnstable, 

Berkshire, . 

Bristol, 

Dukes, 

Essex, 

Franklin, . 

Hampden, 

Hampshire, 

Middlesex, 

Nantucket, 

Norfolk, 

Plymouth, 

Worcester, . 




24 
49 
24 

6 
60 
31 
30 
30 
76 

5 

61 

38 

118 


10 
17 
13 

1 

11 
17 
10 
20 
20 

1 
24 
40 
25 


13 
22 
15 

9 
9 

13 
17 
23 

16 
33 
16 


15 
30 
27 

5 
13 
13 
20 
14 

23 
46 
26 


30 

46 

28 

4 

76 
37 
33 
40 
97 
2 
74 
51 
127 


13 
13 
6 

2 
5 
1 

9 
8 

11 
4 
7 


34 
73 
49 
4 

80 
44 
47 
57 

103 

2 

85 

87 

149 


37 
60 
54 
4 
60 
35 
36 
56 

109 

2 

83 

84 

136 


6 

17 
2 
1 
6 
9 
5 
5 
9 

6 

11 
11 


Totals, 


552 


209 


186 


232 


645 


79 


814 756 


88 



On the basis of the foregoing the Committee on Fisheries and 
Game was advised to authorize the officers of the Division to 
determine whether or not there should be an open season as 
based on similar reports to be obtained in the fall of 1920, 
but that if a decision must be made at the time of the hear- 
ing, based on the information at hand, a further closed season 
of one year was advised. The committee took no action and 
thus the season opened automatically in the fall of 1920. 

The breeding season of the grouse was favorable and through- 
out the summer substantial broods were reported in many 
sections. With the opening of the shooting season the birds 
were reported plentiful in some localities, especially in south- 
eastern Massachusetts and in the four western counties. 

Not having the entire field under trained observers, the 
best that can be said is that there were undoubtedly localities 
in which the birds were present in normal numbers, — normal 



42 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

meaning broods as large as have been observed at any time 
during the past ten years. In many other localities the birds 
were scarce. While opinions differ very widely as to the num- 
ber of birds, it is generally agreed that a substantial brood 
stock remained at the close of the shooting season, and, if 
the conditions throughout the winter and the coming season 
are favorable, that the birds should gradually increase through- 
out their entire range. 

Quail. 

The record of the quail for the past season is a sad one to 
relate for the severe winter took a terrible toll from the quail 
throughout its range. While there are a few birds west of 
Boston and as far west as Worcester, the natural range for 
the quail is the land south and southeast of Boston. Through- 
out the entire range great efforts were made to see that as 
many flocks were fed as could be reached. City and town 
officials, civic societies, girl and boy scout troops, rural mail 
carriers, sportsmen's associations and many individuals con- 
tributed either in funds or from their time toward carrying on 
this work. Despite these efforts the loss was very great. It 
will take several years of favorable conditions to restore the 
birds to the numbers of the fall of 1919. 

There are quail in other parts of the State, notably in Mid- 
dlesex and Worcester counties, and occasionally in the four 
western counties birds are reported that survive the winter 
where all of the conditions are adverse. It is significant, how- 
ever, that in the four western counties only this fragment ex- 
ists year after year. In Middlesex and Worcester counties 
there is some prospect that the birds will re-establish them- 
selves.' It is a mystery why the quail do not return to Es- 
sex County, which for many years was well populated. 

The breeding season this year in the State was favorable; and 
while during the shooting season quail were reported scarce, 
there will be a sufficient brood stock left, provided the winter 
of 1920-21 is favorable and a good breeding season follows. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 43 

Carolina Doves. 

It is gratifying to note that more Carolina doves were ob- 
served in the various parts of the State than for a number of 
years. 

Deer. 

The deer, in common with all wild life, showed the effects of 
the winter. Numerous cases occurred where deer were chased 
by dogs, from which they were unable to escape on account of 
the deep snows. This was particularly the case in the western 
section of the State. The deer came to the breeding season 
in rather poor condition. Nevertheless it seems to have been 
good, though reports came to us in the spring and summer 
that in places where deer had been fairly numerous they had 
disappeared, either killed off or moved to other sections. The 
lateness of the foliage deceived many into the belief that there 
were not many deer in the woods, but the results of the open 
season in December, 1920 (within the next fiscal year and 
therefore to be recorded in the 1921 report), showed that 
there must have been an excellent increase. Not so many 
were killed as usual by farmers for damage to crops. The 
amount paid by the State for claims for damage by deer was 
$5,577.40. 



44 



FISH AND GAME. 



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1920/ 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



45 



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46 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Deer shot in Open Season in Massachusetts Yearly since the Opening of the 

Season in 1910. 

[From 1910 to 1916, inclusive, the open season was from sunrise of the third Monday in Novem- 
ber to sunset of the following Saturday. Beginning with 1917 it has been from sunrise of the 
first Monday in December to sunset of the following Saturday. Shot guns only to be used.] 



County. 


1910. 


1911. 


1912. 


1913. 


1914. 


1915. 


1916. 


1917. 


1918. 


1919. 


Barnstable, 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


31 


33 


28 


43 


25 


34 


55 


Berkshire, 




225 


230 


182 


248 


231 


205 


186 


198 


163 


151 


Bristol, . 




Closed 


Closed 


81 


53 


32 


45 


25 


21 


26 


25 


Dukes, 




Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


- 


- 


3 


2 


- 


1 


- 


Essex, 




Closed 


Closed 


68 


37 


12 


14 


24 


15 


7 


19 


Franklin, 




290 


282 


203 


227 


242 


204 


182 


229 


195 


157 


Hampden, 




231 


214 


179 


242 


194 


151 


164 


153 


111 


110 


Hampshire, 




200 


209 


184 


266 


226 


168 


153 


125 


111 


101 


Middlesex, 




Closed 


Closed 


88 


77 


40 


42 


24 


32 


26 


13 


Nantucket, 




Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Norfolk, . 




Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


23 


16 


7 


15 


5 


8 


7 


Plymouth, 




Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


78 


48 


56 


63 


40 


49 


58 


Suffolk, . 




Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Closed 


Worcester, 




436 


333 


246 


305 


238 


179 


170 


174 


101 


137 


Totals, 


1,382 


1,268 


1,231 


1,587 


1,312 


1,102 


1,051 


1,017 


832 


833 



Squirrels. 
The scarcity of gray squirrels continues and in many local- 
ities they are rare. The cause has never been determined. 
Probably there is no other animal more dependent on the pres- 
ervation of the forests than the gray squirrel, and the gradual 
destruction of the timber vitally affects their range. 



Hares and Rabbits. 

In no locality was the cottontail reported in great abundance. 
In some localities it is very scarce, — so much so that re- 
quests have been received to restock certain covers. Again 
it should be pointed out that as large areas are deforested, grow- 
ing up to scrub oak and being generally neglected, those areas 
become especially favorable for these animals. 

Considerable speculation has existed for years as to the rab- 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 47 

bit or hare on Nantucket, which has been reported as larger 
than the common cottontail. Efforts have been made to dis- 
cover the circumstances under which the animal was placed 
on the island, but no records have been discovered. A specimen 
was sent to the American Museum of Natural History for 
identification, and was reported as having been identified by 
Mr. H. E. Anthony as Sylvilagus fioridanus mediums, — the 
northern sub-species of the Florida cottontail. Nantucket is 
about the northern limit of its range. It is larger than the 
cottontail, resembling more the northern hare, but it does not 
change its coat. It has proved very satisfactory for sporting 
purposes. In the spring an effort was made to trap some 
specimens for liberation on Marthas Vineyard. Owing to the 
work being started late in the spring only 21 were taken; 4 
escaped or died and 17 were transferred to Marthas Vineyard. 
The work will be continued if it meets with success and the 
hares do no unusual damage. 

The experiment of liberating Belgian hare bucks on Marthas 
Vineyard did not produce any results observable this fall. 

A further experiment was attempted in the liberation on 
Marthas Vineyard of a number of black-tailed jack rabbits, 
on the advice of the Payne & Crow Animal Company of 
Wichita, Kans., that they considered this rabbit suitable for 
such country. Out of a shipment of 50 only 20 survived. One 
or two were seen in the summer, but up to November 30 there 
was no indication that they had bred or established themselves. 
The coney rabbit was given additional protection by closing 
the season on January 31, thus shortening the time in which 
it may be taken by one month, and by the further provision 
of a bag limit of five in one day. 

On the northern varying hare, otherwise known as Canada 
hare, as snowshoe rabbit and as white rabbit, a closed season 
until 1923 was established in Dukes, Nantucket, Barnstable 
and Norfolk counties, and on these same hares a daily bag 
limit of two in a day was provided elsewhere in the State. 
The distribution of white hares was on a larger scale than 
previously, as the demand for them is very great, 1,004 being 
shipped from Maine direct to applicants. In certain localities 



48 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

the white hare seems to be more than holding its own. Though 
a substantial number have been liberated annually on Marthas 
Vineyard during the past few years there is no evidence that 
they are establishing themselves. This is a region of com- 
paratively limited snows, and the white-coated animal is an 
attractive mark for vermin. Should the reports for this season 
continue unfavorable the distributions will probably be dis- 
continued. 

Fur-bearing Animals. 

With the rapid decrease in the supply of pelts in the United 
States (raw-fur buyers representing all parts of the country 
place the decrease at from 25 to 50 per cent in the last ten 
years) the local fur industries have become valuable assets, 
and with the decrease of furs from the great trapping grounds 
of the north, local supplies are being drawn on more heavily. 
There is a general protest from raw-fur buyers against traffic 
in unprime skins, and the losses by killing fur animals when 
their skins are not in proper conditions is enormous. In Massa- 
chusetts prior to 1920 fur animals (excepting raccoons) could 
be indiscriminately taken at all seasons of the year. As a 
result of recommendations filed by the Division, chapter 437, 
Acts of 1920, provides closed seasons as follows: on mink, 
otter and skunk, March 1 to October 31; on raccoon, March 
1 to September 30; on muskrat, March 1 to 31 and May 1 to 
October 31. 

The excessive trapping of the muskrat has so reduced the 
stock throughout the State that nothing short of drastic 
measures is likely to bring back this valuable asset. To nar- 
row down the trapper's field of operations, and to protect 
hunting dogs and the dogs of landowners generally, restrictive 
measures were enacted in chapter 437 above referred to. The 
taking of the fur should be considered a business proposition, 
and means devised to center it in the hands of responsible 
persons. The best solution seems to be the provision of a 
trapper's license with a sufficiently high fee to eliminate all 
but those who will make it a business properly conducted. 
In Massachusetts muskrats and fox were taken in 1920 in far 
less numbers than in the previous year, due, first, to the lesser 
numbers in the State (the stock having been depleted during 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 49 

the period of high prices), and, secondly, because the lower 
prices offered less incentive to engage in the business. In the 
spring of 1920 as high as So was paid for muskrat, and $25 for 
fox, against SI. 10 for muskrat and $12 for fox in the fall and 
winter of 1920. Owing to the operation of the new law pro- 
hibiting early trapping, the muskrat skins were of better quality 
than formerly, but on account of the warm weather which pre- 
vailed in the fall fox skins were below normal in quality. 

Enemies to Game. 
Cats. 

Little can be added to the previous statements concerning 
the wild hunting house cat, except to say that the depre- 
dations continue, and there is no indication that the animals 
are on the decrease. Undoubtedly a number were taken by 
trappers during the time when high prices prevailed on fur, 
but no systematic effort is being made to reduce the numbers 
now in the covers and to strike at the root of the evil by re- 
moving the conditions under which the wild supply is con- 
stantly being augmented. 

The annual poster has been displayed in public places 
throughout the Commonwealth. 



50 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



W&t Commontoealtf) of Jfflastfacfmtfette 
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION 

DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 



CATS 



Once more the breeding season of the birds has arrived. Those 
of our resident birds which have survived one of the severest 
winters of the past generation need all the protection we can 
give them. The migratory birds should have equal considera- 
tion in order that we may keep faith with Canada under our 
migratory bird treaty, and with our kinsmen in the South who 
have protected them in the wintering zone. 

The greatest single living agency in the destruction of the 
birds is the roaming, unrestrained house cat. We appreciate 
the practical difficulties connected with keeping cats under 
close restraint throughout the entire year, but if every owner 
of a cat will keep it under restraint during the period from May 15 
to August 15, great mortality among our birds will be avoided. 

We ask you to make it certain that your cat is so controlled, 
and that you co-operate with your local officials and societies 
organized for the purpose to see that all homeless and wild hunt- 
ing cats are humanely killed. 

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION, 

Division of Fisheries and Game. 
May, 1920. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 51 

A great benefit will be derived when the owners of house 
cats will systematically keep them under control at all times 
during the nesting period of the birds, which extends from 
May 15 to August 15. It is a sad commentary on the whole 
situation that much money and effort is spent each year to 
restock our covers, while at the same time this great menace 
to the animal and bird life is allowed to thrive practically un- 
restricted. There is no intention of criticizing the landowner 
who feels that he must have cats about his premises for the 
protection of his property, but the owner of any cat should 
be willing to keep it under restraint during the above-named 
period. The licensing of cats will automatically eliminate a 
great many which to-day are useless, and would give the cat 
a standing as property which to-day it does not have. 

Lynx. 
A female bay lynx, weighing about 30 pounds and measuring 
4^ feet in length, was killed on November 12 by R. D. Sanders, 
of Peabody, in that locality. 

Fox. 
With the increased price of furs the number of foxes through- 
out the State has been so reduced that in localities where 
they were formerly reported plentiful they are now on the 
verge of extinction. In all probability it will be some years 
before the number will be so large as to make the fox an im- 
portant factor in the annual inroads on the wild life of the 
State. 

Starlings. 

There is no question but that the starling is increasing, and 
it is only a question of time when, on account of its destructive 
qualities, it will have to be dealt with along with the English 
sparrow. 

Haiuks, Owls and Vermin. 

The reports indicate a pronounced increase in the number of 

red shoulder hawks and Cooper's hawks. One reliable observer 

tells us that out of 200 nests of red shoulder hawks that he 

has examined, he found evidence this vear for the first time 



52 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

that these hawks ate game birds. He reports finding the 
wings and feathers of a quail on the ground below a nest. 
There was nothing to indicate an unusual visitation of gos- 
hawks. 

Reservations. 

Marthas Vineyard Reservation. 

The routine at the heath hen reservation is much the same 
year by year. No untoward happenings marked 1920. Patrol 
work, with the hunting of hawks and cats, made up the daily 
routine for December and January. The weather was more 
than usually inclement, cold, windy and penetrating, with 
either snow T or the promise of it all through January. During 
February quail were fed nearly every day, mostly on foot, 
owing to the condition of the roads. Many of the flocks fed 
were 5 miles from the reservation houses. March brought 
thaws and the season of mud, when oftentimes the roads in 
certain places were rivers 2 or 3 feet deep. Not much patrol 
work was done, for the law forbade the hunting of rabbits, 
and travel was equally as difficult for hunters as for the super- 
intendent. The middle of April repairs on buildings were 
made, and clearing up work done preparatory for plowing and 
planting. 

Cultivation of Land. — Fifteen acres were seeded to new hay 
land, and 15 tons of hay cut from last year's and older seeded 
ground. The corn yield was sufficient to meet the require- 
ments of the heath hen and the stock until early spring. As 
usual, corn, sunflower plants (a hundred or more) and buck- 
wheat (one-half acre) were left standing for feed and shelter of 
the heath hen. In 1919 seven acres of buckwheat were planted, 
to give the heath hens as much of this sort of food as they 
would use; but the larger area did not draw appreciably greater 
numbers than had the smaller patches of previous years, and 
only a portion of it was eaten. The heath hens prefer variety 
in their food, and travel about seeking what appeals to them. 
They favor the bay berry, and strip the bushes clean before 
spring. It has been noticed that where flocks have estab- 
lished themselves in other portions of the island it is almost 
invariably where this food is plentiful. Examination of the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 53 

crop of a heath hen found some years ago (killed by an owl) 
disclosed the fact that it was round and hard as a baseball, 
and filled with nothing but bayberries. There was only one 
complaint of damage this year, and it is apparent that what 
damage they do to crops is only occasional. As a test, the 
superintendent planted beans on the crest of the hill, in the 
very center of their feeding ground, and throughout the season 
they were untouched. 

Heath Hen. — In the spring the heath hen fed on the hill 
on good days, from 45 to 50 birds being seen together. It is 
obviously impossible to make an accurate census of any wild 
species, but the superintendent is satisfied that there are at 
least 600 heath hen on Marthas Vineyard. They are fairly 
well localized on the reservation, and in other known places 
on the island, and the sum of the various flocks seen repeatedly 
in definite localities can be taken as a reasonably accurate 
census. Certain it is that the birds are steadily regaining 
their lost ground. 

Breeding Season. — The heath hen began to boom March 8, 
indicating the approach of the mating season. While the 
weather during the breeding season was none too good, with 
much dampness and a rainy spell in the middle of the season, 
it was undoubtedly a successful one. Even with the condi- 
tions that prevailed, more heath hen chicks were seen this 
year than the previous year, and after the rainy season was 
over broods of 5 and more birds were seen. The chances are 
that the broods came through the summer with three or four 
birds, even though some may have been killed by hawks. This 
all indicates a good addition to the heath hen population. They 
appear to be a hardy bird, are native here, and apparently able 
to withstand any weather. Probably the weather has little effect 
on them, for they successfully survived all inclement weather as 
well as the vermin of the early days, and not until devastating 
fires began to be of frequent occurrence (mostly within the last 
forty years) did the great reduction in their numbers take place. 

Fires. — There was only one fire on the plain this year, and 
that not serious. The wind was east and blew it away from 
the reservation. April, being a wet month, helped to safe- 
guard the situation. 



54 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Vermin. — The war against vermin is maintained without 
cessation. The snow made tracking easy for the dogs, and 
16 cats were destroyed. Twenty hawks were trapped and 
shot. Rats, while still too numerous, nevertheless are present 
in far less numbers since the vigorous warfare that was waged 
against them in 1919. The year's toll was 129, not counting 
the many that were killed and buried by the dog on inde- 
pendent hunts. 

Visitors. — Considering the remoteness of the heath hen 
reservation, — off the mainland, distant from the towns, and 
off the beaten lines of travel in the very center of the island, 
— it is surprising how many people visit it, and how sustained 
is their interest. During the spring, the visitors are mostly 
off-island people who come for the express purpose, and often 
from long distances, to see the mating antics of the heath 
hen. Certain ones make the trip year after year, and one in 
particular has made eleven successive visits. This spring there 
were thirty-five visitors from the mainland. In the summer 
they come in greater numbers, and are mostly summer resi- 
dents. To these it is generally a disappointment that none 
of the features of the ordinary game farm are to be seen, and 
particularly no birds (for at this time the heath hen are scat- 
tered and only to be seen by a fortunate chance); but after 
hearing the history of the birds and the purpose of the reser- 
vation, they go away in many cases with the avowed intention 
of returning at the proper time to see the mating antics. 

Myles Standish State Forest. 

Wild life conditions on the reservation have improved each 
year since the installation of a permanent caretaker. Pheas- 
ants, rufTed grouse and quail have made a marked increase, 
though there were less than a dozen of either grouse or quail 
when the reservation was taken up. Pheasants have spread 
into all suitable covers, and two bevies of quail, fed through 
the winter, have bred well. Black ducks are quite numerous, 
and wood ducks are increasing, 25 being counted in one local- 
ity. 

The breeding of pheasants was continued from a few adult 
breeders and a limited number of eggs from the Wilbraham Game 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



55 



Farm. There were 186 reared, 60 of which were distributed to 
applicants and the remainder released on the reservation; 6 
adults were also released. The object was to produce only 
enough birds to assist in stocking the local covers. 

Fifty mallard ducks, 8 pheasants, 26 black ducks (which are 
known to have reared at least 4 broods totaling 28 young) and 
16 wood duck were liberated on the reservation from the State 
game farms. 

Three thousand wild rice plants were planted in the ponds 
which seemed most suitable, but did not thrive. 

The ever-present vermin is a serious menace to the wild life, 
and any let-up in a vigorous campaign against these injurious 
species would mean a serious loss to bird life. This year's toll 
was: — 



Red-tail hawks, 
Sharp-shinned hawks, 
Great horned owls, . 
Marsh hawks, . 
House cats, some very large, 



7 

4 

5 

15 

11 



Rats, 58 

Foxes, . . . . . .18 

Skunks, 23 

Large snapping turtles, . . 17 
Weasels, 8 



The reservation was patrolled early and late, and no violations 
of law came to the warden's notice. 



Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary. 

Operations at the Moose Hill bird sanctuary in Sharon were 
continued in conjunction with the Massachusetts Audubon 
Society. This area is maintained both as a wild life reserva- 
tion and as a demonstration station where the public may re- 
ceive instruction in bird protection, or may study the educa- 
tional exhibits at the farmhouse headquarters or the varied 
wild life to be found in the fields and woodlands. 

Through the press and the Audubon Society bulletin the 
public has been kept informed of the work and of the oppor- 
tunities offered for intensive study of nature. More than 
2,600 visitors registered at the office during the past year, not 
only from 133 cities and towns of Massachusetts, but also from 
54 localities outside the State. The annual "Bird Day" on 
May 17 brought 500 people and represented a widespread 
constituency. 



56 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The reservation is constantly patrolled, and but one arrest 
has been necessary. The classification of the superintendent 
as a regular paid fish and game warden, and his appointment 
as special police for the property and as United States deputy 
game warden has given needed authority. All visitors are re- 
quested to register at the sanctuary office before going about 
the grounds; hence, although many people have wandered 
about the place, they are to this extent under control. 

Feeding the birds has been kept up throughout the entire 
year. Winter shelters were maintained during the severe win- 
ter weather, and over 200 miles were covered on snowshoes 
by the superintendent and his wife in this bird welfare work 
the past winter. In spite of the raging storms which were so 
destructive to bird life in other localities, only one dead bird 
was found. Many small birds winter in the sanctuary. 

Predatory animals have been held in check, and those 
classified as "vermin" eliminated so far as possible, — 21 
vagabond cats, several skunks, a few foxes and raccoons, and 
several hundred rats having been destroyed during the year. 
Several goshawks have been noted in the vicinity during the 
fall. 

Experiments in feeding and nesting devices and methods of 
attracting birds about the home have been continued, also 
the identification and card-cataloguing of wild life, — now 
covering 700 species, — records of nesting birds, and daily 
ornithological notes. There have been 127 species of birds 
recorded, 71 of which have been found during the nesting 
season. 

The sanctuary has been established as a regular station for 
"bird banding" for the United States Biological Survey. 

The nesting season was good, and weather conditions favora- 
ble for the rearing of a large percentage of the young. Over 
100 nests were under observation. At least 4 pairs of woodcock 
are believed to have nested within the grounds, pheasants and 
grouse appear to be plentiful, and a covey of more than 30 quail 
were observed on one occasion. Black ducks nested along the 
Beaver Hole Brook in the lower part of the sanctuary, while on 
the upper slopes and higher ridges such birds as the hairy wood- 
pecker, the hermit thrush and the solitary vireo (the usual breed- 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 57 

ing ground of these three is farther north than this general 
locality) were found nesting. Many house wrens, bluebirds and 
tree swallows were raised in the nesting boxes, and in addition to 
the 50 or 60 other species of small birds breeding here, several 
nests of useful hawks and owls were located. 

Reservations under Chapter 410, Acts of 1911. 

During the year the terms of the Great Island Reservation 
in Yarmouth, the Marshfield Reservation, the Marblehead 
Reservation and the Andover Reservation expired, and no 
petitions were received for their re-establishment. No new 
reservations were made during the year. 

On a number of these reservations conditions have been dis- 
tinctly bettered by the restriction of hunting; on others, the 
presence of injurious birds and animals in substantial numbers 
tends to defeat the purposes for which the reservations were 
established. Obviously the proper action would be destruction 
of such vermin, but this is precluded by the limited number of 
wardens. To be sure, chapter 410, acts of 1911, empowers the 
Division to issue permits for the hunting or trapping of in- 
jurious birds or quadrupeds, but such permits may be issued 
only to owners or occupants of the land. When such owners 
interest themselves actively in the destruction of vermin, well 
and good; but when they fail to do so, there is nothing further 
that the Division may do. A recommendation has been made 
to the Legislature for the correction of this situation. Game 
birds were liberated on nearly all of the reservations. 

Sconticut Neck Reservation, Fairhaven. — The laws are well 
observed, for it is common knowledge that it is a reservation. 
The mallard ducks liberated in years past remain, but do not 
breed, and are slowly decreasing. Native black ducks, flight 
ducks, and shore birds resort to this reservation, but not in 
abundance. There are two flocks of quail; and pheasants are 
doing well. 

Hubbardston Reservation. — The term for which this reser- 
vation was established expired in 1919, and on petition from 
the owners was renewed for three years from April 14, 1920. 
This area is showing the results of protection. During the 
year past wood duck came to the dead waters on the Peters 



58 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Hill Brook, and bred; black duck were also on the stream, 
and on Waite and Cunningham ponds, — which never occurred 
before the territory was protected. There are some gray 
squirrels; white hares and coney rabbits are increasing, also 
grouse. It is estimated that about 20 deer are within the 
area. Vermin is no more plentiful than on the surrounding 
lands. There have been no occasions for arrests. 

Millis Reservation. — This reservation lapsed in 1919, and 
was renewed for five years from Oct. 29, 1920. During the 
closed period the increase of game was apparent, especially in 
the case of quail, pheasants and black ducks. 

Tyngsborough Reservation. — The term for which this reser- 
vation was established having expired on Oct. 1, 1920, on peti- 
tion of the owners it was renewed for five years from Oct. 20, 
1920. Conditions remain about the same and there is little to 
report. The vermin problem is a serious one, and the con- 
version of much of the cover into an extension of the golf 
links of the Vesper Country Club has detracted from the 
value of the land for game. Being a rather thickly settled 
area, the cat evil is prominent. Pheasant and grouse are 
present in fair numbers, but the suitable cover being limited 
they work out into surrounding areas, and a considerable per- 
centage of them are shot. 

Hingham Reservation. — The term of this reservation expired 
Aug. 19, 1920, and petition for its renewal has been presented. 
Contrary to the practice on reservations of this type, the land- 
owners welcome the public, provided the wild life is not mo- 
lested. The ground feeding birds were well cared for during 
the winter by residents and the warden. Grain was supplied 
by the Division, and Peter Bradley, Esq., furnished in addi- 
tion many hundred pounds of grain, and instructed his em- 
ployees to expend as much care on the wild birds as on his 
live stock. In this work Mr. Alexander Pope, who has been 
actively interested in establishing and perpetuating the reser- 
vation, joined. This area is conspicuously free from vermin. 
No mink or fox have been seen, and the one weasel found was 
destroyed. Even the house cats have been reduced to a 
minimum. An inventory of the wild life in the spring dis- 
closed 128 broods of quail, 1 male ruffed grouse, 13 pheasants, 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 59 

40 rabbits, abundance of gray squirrel, one wood duck, and 
20 mallards. The natural increase of the mallards is kept 
down by the numbers of turtles in the pond. Migratory birds 
visit the reservation in great numbers. 

Lynnfield Reservation. — There was a heavy flight of song 
and insectivorous birds in the spring, and some, particularly 
the warbler species, stayed a considerable time. Undoubtedly 
they found good feeding in the weedy fields. For some reason 
wild life did not thrive on the reservation this year. The 
pheasants liberated have been seen occasionally, but the quail 
have disappeared. A brood of wood ducks was raised on the 
reservation, but black ducks failed to breed. The mallards 
did not produce as many young as last year, accounted for by 
the discovery of two crow nests close by in which were the 
shells of 71 duck eggs and the wings and feathers of adult 
birds. Gray squirrels bred in good numbers. Some hawks and 
crows have been shot by the warden, but the demands of the 
rest of the district preclude much work on the line. Foxes 
appear to have been exterminated. As feed for the game 
birds one-half acre of corn was left standing. 

Taunton Reservation. — This area is responding to protection 
and to the constructive work of the landowners. Pheasants 
have increased so as to be very numerous, and during the past 
summer have done some little damage to gardens. The same 
was true of rabbits, of which there are many. No complaints 
were expressed, only gratification at the increase of wild life. 
Grouse, while they have increased considerably over last year, 
are not so numerous as could be wished. Gray squirrels have 
increased slightly, but hard winters have reduced the quail. 
Grain was put out systematically during the winter, and 
brought many of the birds through in fair condition. John 
Sharp, Esq., has planted a number of fruit-bearing trees and 
shrubs on his land in the reservation to provide winter feed, 
and plans to extend this work. During the severe weather 
foxes became very bold and killed much game, but a campaign 
of extermination was started and 12 were trapped by the fore- 
man on the Sharp estate. 

Mansfield-Foxborough Reservation. — Ruffed grouse, quail and 
pheasants have increased. The district warden's winter feed- 



60 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

ing work disclosed more quail and pheasants within a radius of 
2 miles outside of this reservation than there have been for 
several years. Frequently there were 150 or 200 black ducks 
at a time in one of the small ponds. A bushel and a half of 
grain was planted by the district warden for standing winter 
feed, one-half in the Foxborough portion and one-half in the 
Mansfield part of the reservation. The laws have been well 
observed. 

Bare Hill Reservation, Harvard. — Conditions here are en- 
couraging for ruffed grouse, gray squirrels show marked in- 
crease, and rabbits are more than holding their own in spite 
of foxes and hawks, which were very numerous during the year. 
A campaign against predacious species carried on by the dis- 
trict warden and volunteer warden F. V. Pillman of Aver ac- 
counted for 18 skunks, 2 mink, 2 weasels, 10 crows, 25 red 
squirrels, 5 red shoulder and 6 sharp-shinned hawks. There 
was no apparent loss among the game by reason of winter 
conditions. 

Pittsfield Reservation. — In this area there is a noticeable in- 
crease among ruffed grouse. Rabbits are few; deer are fre- 
quently seen. There has been no trouble in the past year 
from trespassers, and but little from vermin except the nu- 
merous red squirrels. 

Randolph Reservation. — This reservation is a wild, heavily 
wooded tract of about 1,000 acres of uninhabited land ad- 
joining the Blue Hills Reservation, and contains little beyond 
a few grouse and a fair number of rabbits. There is no cover 
suitable for quail or pheasants. Though it is a particularly 
good grouse country, there are only a few birds of this species. 
Foxes, weasels and mink are numerous, and, in fact, the ver- 
min outnumbers the game. There can be little hope that a 
reservation will achieve its purpose when, by its nature, it 
provides ideal conditions for the increase of vermin, unless 
definite measures are taken to reduce it to a point where the 
useful game may increase. As already stated, such work, 
owing to the limited warden service, must be done bv the land- 
owners. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 61 



INLAND FISHERIES. 

At the present time the natural increase in the fish life of 
our lakes and streams, though assisted by artificial propagation, 
is not keeping pace with the increased fishing, with the excep- 
tion, perhaps, in the case of the brook trout. The time has 
come when the situation must be faced and further restrictions 
placed on the taking, together with more protection during the 
breeding season. For example, on Jan. 1, 1920, 1,000 pickerel 
were taken from one of our small ponds (Quannapowitt Lake, 
Wakefield). On another occasion during the summer of 1920 
two men took an average of 75 bass a day for six days from 
Naukeag Lake, Ashburnham. One of the most popular fish 
in Massachusetts is the pickerel and it is to be found in 
nearly all of our great ponds. Artificial propagation of this 
species has never been adopted. The closed season does not 
start until March 1. There is no restriction on fishing through 
the ice, with the result that it is estimated that 95 per cent of 
the fish taken in the months of January and February are 
female fish, heavy with spawn. A fisherman may take all he 
can catch by use of ten traps, and he may sell his fish. There 
is no pond in the State, and no species of fish in a pond, which 
will stand this drain under present-day conditions. There 
will never be any more ponds nor more streams. The number 
of fishermen will increase. All of these waters are becoming 
more accessible to fishermen by the improvement of roads and 
the use of automobiles. The shores of the ponds are being 
built up rapidly with camps, and the funds available in fish 
culture are totally inadequate for stocking each one of these 
ponds annually. And even in those which we do stock, the 
limited resources prevent the planting of the proper num- 
ber of fish at a time to get the best results. It requires 
only the application of sound business judgment to show 
that there should be a close season on each of our food and 
game fishes, properly protecting them during the breeding 
season; only fish of a reasonable length should be taken, and 
these in a sane and reasonable number per day. Likewise the 
sale of all species of fish taken from inland waters should be 



62 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

absolutely prohibited. The time has gone by when individuals 
should be permitted to exploit these natural resources of the 
Commonwealth for private gain. During the past most of the 
work of the Division has been directed to the breeding and 
distribution of the game fish. It is believed that the common 
food varieties should have equal attention. To that end the 
work enumerated has been done with the white perch and 
horned pout, and an effort is under way to establish the 
Delaware River catfish. 

Fishing License. 

The first year's experience with the new fishing license law 
has demonstrated its value. There were 42,959 licenses issued 
for fishing, aside from the fishermen who took combination 
hunting and fishing licenses. The financial benefit to the 
Commonwealth from straight fishing licenses, after deduction 
of fees, was 817,191.65. A table of license statistics appears 
on page 11. 

Ponds stocked. 

Under chapter 2S5, Acts of 1911, the following ponds were 
stocked and closed to winter fishing: — 

Muddy Pond, Kingston, regulations expire July 1, 1923. 
Spectacle Pond, Littleton, regulations expire Dec. 1, 1923. 
Fort Pond, Littleton, regulations expire Dec. 1, 1923. 
Nuttings Pond, Billerica, regulations expire Dec. 1, 1923. 

During the time the regulations are in force, fishing is per- 
mitted in these ponds between June 1 and October 31, inclusive, 
and in the tributary streams between April 15 and July 31, 
inclusive. Fishing is allowed only with a hand line, or with a 
line attached to a rod or pole held in the hand. 

The following privately owned ponds were stocked with 
food fish, on stipulation of the riparian proprietors that they 
would permit public fishing therein for a term of ten years: 
Mason's Pond, Rockport, owned by Rockport Granite Com- 
pany, and Dark Pond, Rockport, owned by Cape Ann Tool 
Company. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCOIEXT — No. 25. 63 



Trout. 
Brook Trout (Sakelinus fontinalis). 
The trout streams were very high throughout the State at 
the opening of the season, and the water was at the first of it 
quite cold. The greater number of the streams of substantial 
size had a good volume of water throughout the entire season, 
and, while the waters did not warm up rapidly, nevertheless 
the conditions, taken as a whole, from the beginning to the 
close of the season, were unusually favorable. It is a great 
satisfaction to report that this season was even an improve- 
ment over the season of 1919 as regards the number taken and 
the relative size of the fish caught. In many sections where 
the depleted streams are gradually being brought back, the 
first good reports for some years were made. The maintenance 
of the supply of trout is a practical demonstration of what 
can be done by protection to the species during the spawning 
season, by restricting the catch, and the maintaining of a 
limited open season, coupled with artificial propagation. 

Broicn Trout (Salmo fario). 
During the past year steps have been taken for resuming 
the breeding of brown trout pursuant to what appears to be a 
genuine desire for this fish on the part of anglers, and the 
physical condition of some of our waters. Progress this year 
was limited to securing from a private dealer a stock of eggs 
from which the nucleus of a brood stock was established. 
In years past, beginning with 1899, brown trout were raised 
at the State hatcheries and distributed. They are suited 
particularly for waters where the temperature is too high for 
brook trout, and thus it is a valuable fish for stocking waters 
which otherwise might remain barren of fish life. The rearing 
of the brown trout was discontinued at a time when sentiment 
ran high for the production of the strictly game species. 
Though not enjoying the prestige of the brook trout, never- 
theless the brown trout is a fish not to be despised, and its 
lack of popularity is probably due more to reasons of sentiment 
than from lack of merit. It grows more rapidly, to greater 
size, and can stand a greater amount of pollution in the water, 



64 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

and anglers claim that in fighting and edible qualities it equals 
the brook trout. 

In resuming the distribution of brown trout there is no 
intention whatever of discriminating against the brook trout. 
Wherever conditions are suitable for brook trout, the latter 
will be planted and brown trout used only for waters already 
containing them, or below barriers, like dams, where they 
would be segregated. But with the progressive deforestation 
of the Commonwealth, with the attendant rise in temperature 
of the streams, the increased pollution of rivers, and the con- 
stant fishing, more and more of our waters are becoming un- 
suitable for brook trout. For such, it is believed the brown 
trout should be used. The rearing of brown trout will in no 
way curtail the brook trout work at the hatcheries, . since the 
higher temperatured water in which they will be reared would 
be valueless in brook trout propagation. 

Of all the waters previously stocked with brown trout, they 
have thrived best in the Ware River, the Westfield River and 
the Konkapot River. Even yet good numbers of brown trout 
are taken from the middle branch of the Westfield River and 
its tributaries each year. Two specimens taken in 1920 
weighed, respectively, 4 (20 inches) and 4 j pounds (25 inches); 
and members of the Boston Fishing Club took from the 
middle branch of the Westfield River 65 from 10 to 15 f inches. 
As an illustration of the size of the brown trout in the middle 
branch it may be mentioned that in 1917, after four extraordi- 
narily hot days, there were found at the dam at Littleville, 
where the water was 84 degrees, 37 dead brown trout weighing 
from 1 to 5 pounds 8 ounces, the largest 27j inches in length. 
This occurred at a time when the river was unusually low. 
In normal times the fish would have saved themselves by 
dropping down to cooler water. Such a combination of low 
water and hot weather would probably not occur for many 
years. 

Chinook Salmon. 

In December of 1919 the Division learned that it would not 
be possible to obtain a satisfactory supply of Chinook salmon 
eggs for the hatching work of 1920. Oregon advised that no 
eggs could be expected; in California egg taking was the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 65 

smallest on record; Washington could promise only 200,000 
against 600,000 and upwards in other years. This curtailed 
the 1920 production of Chinook salmon. 

Dependence on distant States for the egg supply is an un- 
satisfactory aspect of the salmon work. The attempt to 
establish the Pacific salmon in Massachusetts waters was, at 
the best, an experiment, and, while in the matter of growth 
some of the fish planted in Long Pond, Plymouth, exceeded 
expectations, there was insufficient evidence that they re- 
produced. Indeed, the probability that they would fail to do 
so was always recognized, and that constant stocking would 
be the price of whatever salmon fishing our waters might 
afford. 

Thus as each fishing season came around the results were 
watched with the keenest interest, and more so than ever in 
1920, because the catch of 1919 had fallen off materially from 
that of the previous year. The salmon fishing in Long Pond 
failed utterly in 1920. Very few were caught at all and the 
largest weighed but 4 pounds. Mr. Edward Bassett, who 
resides at the pond and who acted as observer, reported that 
up to April 21 not more than 15 salmon had been taken, the 
largest 1^ pounds. On May 5 he wrote that one boat caught 
one salmon that weighed 4 pounds, and another, 1| pounds; 
and that since his report of April 21 about 60 had been caught, 
of which only 12 were of legal length. Results through the 
entire season were no better. 

With regard to the other ponds, the only catches of salmon 
which we have heard of in 1920 were as follows: In Cliff 
Pond, Brewster, on May 22 one 6| pound female Chinook 
salmon, 25^ inches in length, was taken. In Peters Pond, 
Sandwich, a number of Chinook salmon were caught that 
weighed from three-quarters to 1 pound; also, one 4-pound 
and one 5-pound salmon. Report came to us that in December, 
1919, one Chinook salmon was caught in Onota Lake, fishing 
through the ice, and during 1920 one was taken weighing 
about 2\ pounds. 

With regard to the Merrimack River, according to the known 
habits of salmon the year 1920 should have seen the return to 
the Merrimack River of the salmon planted therein in 1916. 



66 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

In anticipation of this, and in order that any salmon which 
might appear in the river should be brought to the office for 
identification, posters explaining how to identify the Chinook 
salmon, calling attention to the possibility that they would 
appear in the river, and requesting that specimens be sent 
to the office at the expense of the Division, were displayed 
throughout the entire Merrimac valley, and through boards of 
trade and other organizations were circulated among the com- 
mercial fishermen. It is believed that the public in general, 
and the commercial fishermen in particular, have kept close 
watch on the situation, but there has been only one rumor, 
and not one authenticated instance, of their return. 

The officials of the Division were thus confronted squarely 
with the question whether or not to continue the rearing and 
distribution of Chinook salmon. 

A review of the facts showed that since 1914 Chinook salmon 
had been hatched from eggs received from the Pacific coast, 
and planted in the deepest, coldest ponds, well stocked with 
smelt for food. The salmon were planted as 3 to 5 inch fish, 
and between October 1 and November 15 (that is, after the 
predatory fish had ceased feeding), when, consequently, the 
salmon had the greatest chance of survival. 

The following table is a resume of plantings from 1913 (in 
1913 a consignment was received from the United States Bu- 
reau of Fisheries) to 1920: — ■ 



1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



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68 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

In most of these ponds no salmon at all have ever been taken. 
In Big Alum Pond, Cliff Pond and Onota Lake a very few 
specimens have been taken, and in Lake Quinsigamond in the 
third season possibly 70 fish, after which they disappeared. 
The only exception is Long Pond, Plymouth, where in the 
season of 1917 about 100 salmon were caught, the largest 
weighing 7 pounds; in 1918, probably 350, running from 2 
to 9 pounds, with 2 or 3 at 12 pounds; in 1919, about 800, 
but of small size, from 2 to 4 pounds; and in 1920, very few, 
the largest 4 pounds. In the Merrimack River the first year's 
plantings proved a failure. 

Viewed as a whole, the results from the work have been 
meager, considering that it has taken, it is estimated, about 
60 per cent of the time and funds at the Palmer fish hatchery. 

It was the feeling of the officials of the Division that further 
efforts along this line are not justified. But, following the 
practice of consulting the persons most affected before adopting 
a change of policy of far-reaching importance, questionnaires 
were sent out to all the fish and game associations and to a 
large number of individuals, stating the case and putting two 
specific questions : — 

1. Assuming that the funds of the Division for the propagation of fish 
are so limited that we are unable to produce sufficient numbers of food 
and game fish, which we know will reproduce in our waters, to meet the 
needs, shall we continue to rear and plant Chinook salmon? 

2. In view of the fact that we have the plants of 1917, 1918, 1919 and 
1920 still to be heard from in the Merrimack River, shall we make further 
plants until we know whether any of the above will be successful? 

The replies to 93 per cent of the questionnaires advocated 
the discontinuance of planting salmon in ponds and any further 
experiments in the Merrimack River. There are still four 
plantings in the river to be heard from, and should the fish 
appear in such numbers as to justify the resumption of the 
work, it will be renewed. 

No action was taken under chapter 339, Acts of 1920, em- 
powering the Department of Conservation to make rules and 
regulations for the taking of salmon. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 69 



Pike Perch. 

There is nothing of particular moment to record in con- 
nection with this species, which has become established in a 
number of our ponds and in the Connecticut and the Deerfield 
rivers through the efforts of the Division. It is such a de- 
servedly popular fish that it is to be regretted that finances 
will not permit handling it on a much larger scale. 

Following the usual custom the pike perch eggs for hatch- 
ing were collected by employees of the Palmer hatchery at the 
spawning grounds of the pike perch in Vermont. They worked 
in conjunction with the officials of Vermont, dividing the labor 
and the eggs. From the 56 quarts of eggs collected there were 
hatched and distributed 9,750,000 fry. 

Pickerel. 

The thickness of the ice in the winter of 1919-20 virtually 
acted as a closed season, the effect of which was reflected in 
the catches of the following summer. "Big catches," "large 
fish," "larger fish than usual," "exceptionally good fishing" 
was the word from the majority of the districts. This is an 
illustration of what may be expected if even a moderate 
degree of protection is given by shortening the season and 
limiting the catch. The pickerel problem has already been 
stated, and the remedy suggested. 

There were 600 pickerel, taken in the process of seining 
horned pouts in Shaker Pond, Ayer, distributed in ponds. 

Black Bass. 

The past year appears to have been an average good one 
for bass fishing, varying to excellent in some localities. The 
closed season should be extended to July 1 in order to protect 
late spawners, and a catch limit is imperative. It is reported 
on reliable authority that two men took on an average of 
76 bass per day for six consecutive days out of one pond 
(Naukeag Lake). It is hopeless to attempt to keep pace with 
such conditions by artificial propagation only. 

Small-mouth bass fry for distribution were collected in 
North Watuppa Lake, Fall River, June 16 to 29, using nets 



70 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

of very fine material. This is a water supply well stocked 
with bass which breed prolifically, and the water board which 
controls it has been most courteous in permitting the seining 
of fry for distribution and the capture of adults for brood 
stock. The lake was exceptionally high for the time of year, 
and the water backing up into the woodland made the fry 
more than ordinarily difficult to secure. Only eight of the 
thirteen days were favorable for the work, during which 148,000 
fry were collected. The ideal conditions for the taking of fry 
combine a quiet, sunny day, still water and little or no wind. 
Shipments were made direct from pond to applicant. On the 
days unfavorable for taking fry, the crew fished for adult bass 
for brood stock for the Palmer hatchery; 24 were secured for 
the Boston Aquarium. 

White Perch. 

The transfer of white perch from well-stocked to poorly 
stocked ponds is one of the activities the results of which 
fully justify the continuance. In many of the waters so 
stocked fish are showing up, s — small sized in the recently 
stocked waters and good sized in those stocked long enough 
ago to have permitted growth. 

Salvage work was begun April 1 at Tashmoo Pond, Vineyard 
Haven, with three men and the same gear as the previous 
season. A new method of setting fyke traps was tried with 
excellent results. It consisted of adding an 80 by 4 foot center 
leader to two traps, running the leader from shore and fac- 
ing the mouth of the trap inshore instead of parallel to the 
shore of pond, using the wings also to stop fish from going by. 
These leaders were used on two traps, and two other traps 
were used as formerly without leaders. The traps with the lead- 
ers caught four times as many fish as did the traps without. 
Two large pockets, 10 by 10 by 6 feet were floated in 20 feet 
of water, and the fish awaiting shipment kept very well in 
them. A breakwater 55 feet long and 3 feet deep was built 
around the holding pockets in shore and gave good results. 

Weather conditions during April, being cold and rainy, 
were most unfavprable for taking fish. The fish were not 
nearly as plentiful in Tashmoo Pond as formerly, and only 
the increased facilities for catching made possible the favorable 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 71 

showing as to numbers taken. Shipping continued without 
interruption from April 6 until June 5. Better planned mes- 
senger service and the use of a new type of pump for aerating 
the fish in transit were features of the year's work. 

In exchange for courtesies extended to the Division, 1,500 
adult white perch were shipped to the United States Bureau 
of Fisheries, and 13,700 to the New Hampshire and 800 to 
the Vermont fish and game departments; 7,200 were seined 
for Webster Lake, under the usual arrangement whereby the 
town of Webster bears the expense of catching and trans- 
portation; 89,300 were distributed to other State waters, 
making a total of 112,500 fish. While numerically this was a 
decrease from last year, it was proportionally greater as the 
shipping season was nine days shorter than in 1919. The 
most pressing need of the salvage section is a 2-ton truck, not 
only to make it possible to do our own trucking, but for 
transferring the whole salvage outfit on short notice to any 
section of the State where fish may be available. 

Smelt. 
Salt-icater Smelt. 

The natural elements so interfered with the collection of 
salt-water smelt spawn for hatching that the work was almost 
a failure. Mild weather prevailed the third week of March, 
and on the 25th the fish made their first appearance at the 
falls in the Weir River, Hingham, where the work is carried 
on. Heavy rains began to fall and the water in the river 
rose to the freshet mark. The deep, swift-flowing current of 
water was more than the spawn-loaded fish could navigate, 
and they appeared content to remain far below the falls, 
where they deposited their spawn upon the river bottom. 
Our men soon discovered these unusual conditions, but were 
not equipped to cope with the situation. 

As soon as the water receded to its normal flow, making it 
possible for the fish to reach the falls with ease, the weather 
broke, and cold and stormy weather prevailed. The mild 
weather of April was of brief duration and the water tempera- 
tures fluctuated greatly. The spawn in the fish develops only 
in warm water, and the sudden changes in water temperatures 



72 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

retarded this development to such an extent that the depositing 
of spawn was not completed until the middle of May, making 
the season one of the longest on record. Getting the spawn 
from the fish was difficult, owing to the large per cent of 
unripe spawn. The total amount of fish to reach the falls at 
the Weir River was only about 25 per cent of the normal 
amount. 

Taking the fish by net, as has been the custom of late, was 
unsatisfactory as the fish ran from 60 to 90 per cent males, 
and the few females were largely unripe. Picking the fish 
from the falls with the hands assures the handling of only 
the fully matured fish of the desired sex, and produces the 
most fertile spawn, but this method is very slow. 

On April 12, 22 quarts of spawn and on April 13, 14 quarts 
more were collected and shipped to the Palmer hatchery for 
hatching. Following these shipments the spawn was taken 
only in small lots, all of which were hatched on the grounds 
and the fry planted in the stream. 

A number of improvements were made at the station, 
notably piping the hardening house with running water from 
Foundry Pond. A battery of three hatching jars was in 
operation throughout the season, in which many tests were 
made to determine the fertility of the spawn and the improved 
method of hardening. About 5,000,000 fry were hatched in 
this battery. The use of a boat was given by Mr. Pierce Long 
of Hingham, who has extended similar courtesies to the law- 
enforcement section. Aid was also rendered in the electrical 
work by Mr. Gus Erickson of Hingham. 

The excess of water that so materially interfered with the 
work at the Weir River made the conditions almost perfect at 
other streams for a heavy natural hatch, for the high water 
gave the fish access to a larger portion of the brooks and also 
kept the bottom free from fungus. 

Fresh-water Smelt. 

No fresh-water smelt were taken for distribution during the 

spring run of 1920 at Onota Lake, Pittsfield. The combination 

of a late breaking up of the ice with high water in the brook 

retarded the normal spawning season a week or more, and 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 73 

when the run did come it was very light and lasted only four 
nights. This year for the first time residents of the Common- 
wealth were permitted to capture landlocked smelt for food 
and bait, as authorized by chapter 57, General Acts of 1919. 
Substantial amounts were thus captured, under supervision of 
the wardens, from Laurel Lake, Lee, and Onota Lake, Pittsfield. 

Horned Pout. 
The best that can be said for horned pout fishing this year 
is that it was "fair," with reports of ponds becoming depleted 
and stock running small. The horned pout, as well as the other 
food fishes, needs relief from the drain of overfishing. As a 
further assistance (though this will be of less effect than 
season and bag limits) the Division plans, as fast as may be, 
to acquire suitable small ponds in different parts of the State 
to serve as brood ponds, from which each year the natural 
increase can be collected and distributed. Shaker Mill Pond 
in Aver has been secured for three years, and after screening 
the inlet and outlet 200 large breeding horned pouts from a 
pond on the Hubbardston reservation were introduced, and 
100 young were removed in the fall and distributed. 

Granting of Fishing Privileges in Great Ponds. 

Lease of Chilmark Pond. 

After a public hearing held at West Tisbury on Oct. 5, 1919, 

Chilmark Pond in Dukes County was leased, pursuant to 

chapter 81, Acts of 1896, to certain of the riparian proprietors 

for five years from March 1, 1920, at an annual rental of $75. 

Permits to seine Squibnocket Pond. 
No permits were issued for seining Squibnocket Pond as pro- 
vided by chapter 124, Special Acts of 1917, though applications 
for such were received from two residents of Gay Head. The 
petitions were filed so late that fishing could not start before 
the first of May. Experience in other years had shown that 
from May 1 until the last sets were made about the middle of 
June, the grass, which is very abundant in the pond, interfered 



74 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

materially with seining; and the presence of other fish, espe- 
cially alewives, so complicated the work that little profit was 
derived from it. 

Lease of Bartlett's Marsh Pond and White Island Pond. 
The Legislature of 1919 by a special act, chapter 201, au- 
thorized the board of commissioners on fisheries and game to 
lease Bartlett's Marsh Pond in Wareham and that portion of 
White Island Pond lying in Wareham for the artificial propa- 
gation of alewives. A hearing on one petition was given, 
but no action has been taken. 

Screens. 

In previous reports the futility has been dwelt on of placing 
fish of migratory habits in ponds the outlets of which are not 
screened. Funds have never been provided for this necessary 
work, and such screening as has been done has been the work 
of public-spirited individuals or fish and game clubs. 

Chapter 382, Acts of 1920, empowered the Commissioner 
of Conservation to expend such sums as the General Court 
may appropriate from time to time for the screening of ponds 
and rivers. Activities along this line will, of course, be con- 
trolled entirely by the action of future Legislatures in pro- 
viding the funds. 

The Congamond Association, having studied the conditions 
in the Congamond Lakes and found that notwithstanding ex- 
tensive stockings for the past ten years fishing grew steadily 
poorer, installed a wrought-iron screen at an expense of $200. 
Each year some public-spirited individual or association comes 
forward in this way, and the whole public benefits. 

Fishways. 
Work leading to the installation of fishways at those dams 
on producing or potential alewife streams, where their presence 
is deemed necessary, was pursued as continuously throughout 
the year as pressure of other work would permit. Unfor- 
tunately, owing to extreme scarcity of cement and the pro- 
hibitive prices which prevailed for this product during the 
greater part of the most favorable season for carrying on con- 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 75 

struction work, only three fishways — those located at the 
dams of the Essex Company of Lawrence, the Ipswich Mills 
of Ipswich, and the Carver Cotton Gin Company of East 
Bridgewater — were carried to a state of actual completion, 
but much progress was made in the way of all essential engi- 
neering and other work preliminary thereto. 

Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers. 

By way of following up locations already surveyed, the 
matter was again taken up with the Easton Investment Com- 
pany of West Bridgewater, the Carver Cotton Gin Company 
of East Bridgewater, the Nemasket Worsted Mills of Middle- 
borough, and Benjamin Cummings, owner of a dam at Russells 
Mills, Dartmouth, all of whom agreed to take such action in the 
premises as will lead to construction of fishways at their dams 
in the near future. 

Owing to alleged difficulty of installation of the type of way 
planned for the dams of the Carver Cotton Gin Company 
and the Easton Investment Company, a re-examination was 
made of their locations, as a result of which some of the fea- 
tures of the old ones considered to be undesirable were modi- 
fied. Much to the gratification of all concerned, the fishway 
called for at the former location was fully completed in the 
month of October. This, though of unique construction, em- 
bodies in the main the principles of our standard "straight- 
run" fishway. 

Saugus River. 

Investigation of the present condition of the Saugus River 
showed it to be obstructed at three points in its course by 
dams, situated respectively on the property of the Cellugraph 
Engineering Corporation of Boston, formerly owned by Wallace 
Nutting, and the United States Worsted Company, in Saugus, 
and at the dam on property at Montrose under the control of 
the Lynn Water Board. At the two first mentioned locations, 
wooden fishways have existed in a bad state of repair up to 
and including last season, but these have reached such an 
advanced stage of decay that they are of no further use. 
Thus, since a fishery still exists in this stream, it becomes 
imperative that these structures be replaced without delay. 



76 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

When the proposition was broached to the parties in question, 
it was accepted in a not unfriendly fashion, and action is 
expected in the near future. Preliminary surveys have already 
been made of both of these locations. 

Investigation of the situation at the dam at Montrose re- 
vealed the fact that the city of Lynn's flowage rights over 
adjacent meadow land above the dam are not good between 
April 1 and October 20, which necessitates its gate being left 
open during this time. Therefore the matter resolves itself 
into the question of whether or not the force of water through 
the gate opening would be so great as to effectually prevent 
the passage of fish through it. With regard thereto, it would 
seem that at its maximum height there is only a 7-foot drop 
at the dam, which, in the course of one or two weeks, settles 
down to not more than 3 to 4 feet, the capacity of the bed of 
the stream. Therefore, though the gate is so constructed as 
to lift up from the bottom, it must be taken for granted that 
the pressure exerted by the volume of water last mentioned 
will not subject the fish to such unfavorable conditions as will 
make it impossible for them to pass. Should it be demonstrated 
to us, at the time of the first run of fish up as far as this 
point on the stream, that these conclusions are wrong, the 
Lynn W f ater Board has agreed to comply with whatever re- 
quirements the Division prescribes with regard to the matter. 

Ipswich River. 
The Ipswich River presented a like number of obstructions 
to the passage of fish in the form of dams located on the 
property of the Ipswich Mills, Ipswich, of W. F. Barrett of 
Hamilton, and of C. G. Rice of Ipswich. At the first of 
these a "straight-run" fishway was constructed by the end 
of November. Surveys were likewise made of the two other 
locations in order to provide the owners with suitable fishway 
plans. 

Merrimack River. 

Upon suspension of work on the Lawrence fishway last year, 
the uncompleted portion consisted of the lower end where the 
plans indicated the lowest elevation of any part of the struc- 
ture. This was to connect the completed portion with the 
channel of the river through which the fish would pass. Owing 




Fishway at dam of Essex Company, Lawrence, Mass., completed Nov. 19, 1920. Showing top 

of fishway. 




Fishway at dam of Essex Company, Lawrence, Mass. Showing lower end of fishwa 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



77 



to the depth of excavation and low elevation required, this 
portion could not be completed until a low stage of water oc- 
curred in the river, unless with the great expense of a cofferdam. 
In view of the high water in spring and early summer the river 
did not reach a low stage until a period which extended much 
longer than usual, and with further labor troubles and the dif- 
ficulty in obtaining necessary supplies work was much delayed 
after starting at the late date of August 2. The structure was 
entirely completed by Nov. 19, 1920, after a total of 156 work- 
ing days during 1919 and 110 in 1920, making a total of 226 
working days from the date of commencement. 

No disbursements were made in 1920 from appropriations 
made for this work, except payments on the contract, and $1.47 
for blue print in connection with the Lowell fishway. An 
advancement of $424.70, made by the Essex Company in 
March as a portion of their promised contribution of $2,500, 
defrayed bills of the engineer for $187.50 and $237.20. 

Until some species of fish which will use a fishway have 
been brought up to and over the dam at Lawrence, it is not 
considered advisable to proceed with work on the fishway at 
the dam of the Locks and Canals Company at Lowell. 

Pollution. 
It was impossible to make more than slight progress on the 
problem of the effect of water pollution on fish life. Examina- 
tion and reports have been made by the district wardens and 
the biologist, covering the following cases. The matter in each 
instance was brought to the attention of the firm concerned. 



Name. 


Location. 


Stream . 


Pollution 
Material. 


East Weymouth Wool Scouring 

Company. 
Chandler Mill Company, 

Union Mill, .... 

Chemical Works, 


East Weymouth, 
Marshfield, 
Becket, . 
Woburn, . 


Weymouth Back River, . 

South River, . 

West field River, West 

Branch. 
Mystic River, 


Alkali. 
Sawdust. 
Coal ashes. 
Acid. 



The fish life in the Westfield River suffered considerable 
injury through the accidental discharge of chemicals into the 
river as the result of a train wreck. On July 19 eight cars of 
the Boston & Albany Railroad left the track 2 miles east of 



78 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Becket station, and four of them, two containing cement and 
lime and two zinc oxide, plunged down a 15-foot embankment 
into the river. Between 80 and 100 barrels of zinc oxide, 
weighing 300 pounds each, were thus spilled, coating the 
river bottom white, and discoloring the water and exterminat- 
ing the fish as far down as Westfield. 

Water samples collected on August 10 at Chester and 
Huntington, 9 and 15 miles, respectively, below the point 
where the wreck occurred, were examined by the State Depart- 
ment of Health, which made report that the condition of the 
river was normal at the time of taking the samples, in so far 
as their analysis went. Tests of the hardness of these two 
samples showed it to be no greater than 3.0 and 2.6 parts in 
100,000, which indicated that in this respect the water was 
not abnormal, and that there was no great quantity of lime 
present. The further statement was made in this report that 
as zinc oxide or lithopone is insoluble in water and although 
the water might have become turbid to the extent of clogging 
the gills of the fish for the time being, it is a substance which 
would soon be precipitated to the bottom of the stream, and 
thereafter not destroy fish. The effect of the soluble lime was 
naturally quite different, but that it tended to disappear very 
rapidly is shown by the results of the above-mentioned water 
analysis. 

Experiments to determine the amount of trade waste and 
chemicals necessary to kill trout directly were undertaken during 
the summer by the biological department at the East Sandwich 
hatchery, and some interesting information was obtained regard- 
ing the toxic effect of small quantities of common materials. 

From time to time questions arise as to the right of riparian 
owners on great ponds to commit acts which may result in 
injury to the fish life in the pond, such, for instance, as the 
treatment of the waters with chemicals for the destruction of 
algae. A specific case laid before the Attorney-General brought 
forth the following ruling : — 

It is my opinion that the deliberate deposit of copper sulphate or other 
poisonous substance in a great pond containing quantities of fish, with 
knowledge or reasonable expectation of fatal results to the fish therein, 
may well be a public nuisance and an indictable offence. But, as above 
indicated, there must be some real injury in order to constitute a nuisance. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 79 



PROPAGATION OF FISH AND GAME. 

General. 
Sale of Abandoned Hatcheries. 
The two fish hatchery properties in Adams and Hadley, 
which had proved unsuitable for the rearing of fish beyond 
the fry stage, were sold under authorizations from the Legis- 
lature (chapter 5, Acts of 1920, and chapter 49, Resolves of 
1912). One thousand two hundred dollars was received for the 
Adams and $200 for the Hadley property. 

Pheasant Rearing versus Duck Rearing. 

A radical change was made in the bird work this year by the 
discontinuance of the breeding of mallard and black ducks in 
favor of pheasants. Black duck rearing appears to be un- 
necessary as they are multiplying rapidly under Federal pro- 
tection. With reference to the mallard duck, the conclusion 
was reached that it is financially prohibitive to produce a 
mallard sufficiently wild to serve for stocking purposes. 

Pursuant to the policy which has been adopted of sub- 
mitting any large change of work to the parties in interest, 
a questionnaire was sent to all persons who had received 
mallard duck stock, including among the questions the follow- 
ing:— 

Assuming our funds are very limited, would you advise continuing the 
breeding of mallard ducks, or would you expend the money on breeding 
increased numbers of pheasants ? 

The replies almost unanimously favored discontinuing the 
breeding of the mallard duck and devoting the funds to the 
further rearing of pheasants, with the result of increased pro- 
duction and the establishment of two additional brood stocks 
as hereinafter described. 

Planting of Eyed Fish Eggs. 
A method of distribution new in Massachusetts was adopted 
this year, — the planting of eyed eggs in wire baskets for 
hatching in streams which it is desired to stock. 



80 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The trout ridd, or artificial nest, has had its chief develop- 
ment in Europe, where for years it has been the means of 
stocking the inaccessible mountain streams. The method 
therefore has been thoroughly tested. 

The first requisite for success is to make the plants under 
the proper conditions. A long stretch of stream is required, 
spring-fed to keep it free from ice and to give a suitable 
temperature. It should be shallow, with a fairly good current 
and numerous shallow eddies, but not many deep pools which 
would harbor large fish. 

The eggs are placed in wire baskets or trays, containing 
about 2 square feet of surface, built of heavy mesh wire of 
such a size that the eggs will not fall through. The proper 
age at which the eggs should be planted is from one to two 
weeks before they are ready to hatch. They are spread evenly 
in the baskets, in numbers varying from 500 to 1,000 to the 
square foot. The tray is placed in the stream, set on small 
wooden uprights forced into the bottom of the stream and held 
about 2 inches above the bottom, so that the water entirely 
covers the container and its contents. The flow should be 
such as to give complete circulation in every part of the tray. 
After the basket is placed in position it is protected and con- 
cealed by covering it with brush, or evergreen boughs in the 
form of a lean-to over the stream. 

As the eggs hatch the fry drop through the mesh of the 
basket into the silt, and lie quietly on the bottom until they 
begin to feed. When that time comes they rise and scatter 
far up and down the stream in search of suitable feeding 
grounds. This simulates closely the natural method of propa- 
gation. 

This method of planting was initiated at the suggestion of 
L. B. Handy, Esq., of Wareham, a well-known commercial 
fish culturist, who gave gratuitously a good deal of time in 
doing the work. He was assisted by various members of the 
force. The plants totaled 405,000 eggs. The trays were 
collected by the wardens after the lapse of sufficient time for 
the eggs to hatch, and the reports were uniformly that the 
percentage of hatch had been large. Owing to the rigorous 
winter it was difficult to check up results further until later 




Planting eyed trout eggs in brook. Placing the tray in position. 




Planting eyed trout eggs in brook. Close-up view of tray in position. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 81 

in the spring, but the men reported that in every locality 
where eggs had been planted unusually large numbers of fry 
were seen in the spring. 

Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms. 
Palmer Fish Hatchery. 

The work at the Palmer fish hatchery proceeded on about 
the same lines as in former years, but with no expansion, 
owing to financial conditions. Much-needed improvements 
were made in the double tenement house, — new floors, 
stairway, installation of water supply, raising the floors which 
had settled, and putting in new sills and posts. 

A pond was started for rearing shiners for bass food. At 
odd times brush was cut, and a dirt dam constructed. The 
old barn back of the double tenement house was torn down 
and the lumber sorted for future use; the bank near the 
superintendent's house was excavated preparatory to building 
a garage, and the dirt used in grading in rear of the superin- 
tendent's house; the construction of a garage suitable to 
accommodate three automobiles was about completed. The 
addition to the station's equipment of a 1-ton Stewart truck 
meant a considerable money saving and better distribution 
service. 

Small-mouth Black Bass. — To the brood stock of small- 
mouth black bass brought over from last season were added 
a sufficient number of adult bass (seined from water supply 
ponds in Fall River through the courtesy of the Watuppa 
Water Board) to make up the necessary quota for the available 
breeding ponds. The ponds at the Palmer hatchery number 
nine, — three water supply ponds and six bass ponds. This 
year four of the latter were used in breeding bass, a total 
area of 117,530 square feet. One more breeding pond was 
partially built. The lateness of filling the ponds was un- 
favorable to the growing of insect life therein and there was not 
much food for the young bass fry to feed on. As a conse- 
quence not as many fingerlings were produced as would have 
been the case had the ponds been filled earlier in the season. 
There were 235 breeders placed in the ponds, from which 



82 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

172,000 fry, 66,000 advanced fry and 27,650 fingerlings, were 
produced, all of which were distributed. 

Towards the close of the year work was taken up on the 
construction of two more bass ponds, which will increase the 
output next year by one-half if they can be completed for use 
next spring. 

Large-mouth Black Bass. — The limited number of large- 
mouth bass reared were grown to be a brood stock for next 
season, except for a shipment of 7,000 to Eastern Harbor, 
Provincetown. 

Chinook Salmon. — There were 400,000 Chinook salmon eggs 
received from the California and the Washington commissions. 
The former came in good condition, but from the latter lot 
over 50,000 dead eggs were removed immediately after being 
placed on the hatching trays. The fry were weak and many 
died soon after hatching. Before the food sac was entirely 
absorbed the salmon were transferred from the hatching 
troughs to three dirt pools, about 65,000 in each, and the re- 
mainder to wooden pools. Even at the start the fish in the 
dirt pools fed more readily and grew about one-third faster, 
and the loss during the feeding period was at least 70 per 
cent less than in the wooden pools. This rapid growth and 
smaller mortality was due to the more natural conditions, — 
opportunity to spread out in deeper water, and more or less 
live food not available in the artificial pools. Trials in 1919 
had given the same results. From the 400,000 eggs there 
were reared and distributed 251,300 2\ to 5 inch fingerlings, 
disposed of as follows: 34,400 to the Sandwich fish hatcheries 
for further rearing; 202,400 in the tributaries of the Merrimack 
River; 5,000 planted in Norwich Lake, Huntington, and 
9,500 in Spectacle Pond, Lancaster. 

Silver Trout. — The 250,000 silver trout eggs were received 
from the Washington Fish and Game Commission in fair 
condition, and resulted in 198,500 fry, which were planted in 
the following ponds : — 

Norwich Lake, Huntington, 49,000 

Onota Lake, Pittsfield, 50,000 

Big Alum Pond, Sturbridge, 50,000 

Lake Garfield, Monterey, 49,500 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 83 

Brook Trout. — Eggs were taken from wild stock in the 
brook, eyed, and sent (30,000 in number) to the Sandwich 
hatcheries. 

Salt-water Smelt. — The 32,000,000 smelt eggs received from 
the field station at Weir River, Hingham, produced 24,750,000 
fry. This was not the full number desired for hatching, but 
was all that could be secured, owing to a poor run of fish. 

Pike Perch. — The supply of pike perch eggs collected in 
Vermont (18,150,000 eyed and green eggs) came in good con- 
dition, and 9,750,000 fry were hatched and planted. 

Yellow Perch. — Hatching of yellow perch was discontinued 
this year. It was thought best to relieve the Palmer hatchery 
of as much battery work as possible, in order to devote more 
time to rearing bass. The 250 fingerlings left over in one of 
the ponds were planted in Forest Lake, Palmer. 

Horned Pout. — The 5,000 horned pout fingerlings produced 
last year by the adults held in the pond were seined out and 
distributed. Through the courtesy of the Flagg Ice and 
Coal Company, Inc., 200 adult horned pout were seined from 
the company's pond in Brockton and shipped to Palmer for 
brood stock. They were placed in the supply pond near the 
hatchery, but close watch failed to reveal any beds of eggs or 
young fish. There were 200 more adult horned pout received 
from a pond on the estate of I. H. Wallace of Fitchburg, but 
came too late for breeding. The stock of 800 breeders in the 
supply pond failed to produce any young this season so far 
as could be ascertained. 

Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 
Replacement and repair work and certain necessary construc- 
tion was carried along with the production of fish. At East 
Sandwich four large rearing pools were built at the lower end 
of the hatching grounds to utilize the spring water coming 
from the banks and two more back of the meat house to 
utilize the surplus water there. Three large plank pools were 
rebuilt to replace the old ones that had rotted out; new race- 
ways were rebuilt in all old wooden pools, and new screens 
made; shade boards were built for all new rearing pools, and 
covers for the supply tanks. Extensive grading was done 



84 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

around new pools. The hatch house that was built last fall 
was completed, and sixty wells driven to supply hatch house 
and pools. 

At the Sandwich station two new rearing pools were built at 
the upper end of the cement pools, and grounds graded around 
the same. A ditch was dug back of the meat house in order 
to carry off the surplus water from the creek coming from the 
swamp and protect the grounds from spring floods. The old 
ditch was filled and grounds graded. Wooden pools back of 
the meat house were reconstructed and wells driven to give 
them a fresher supply of water. The six lower cement pools 
had been supplied with water from the pools above. By the 
time the water reached the lower ones it had become stagnant 
and a fresher supply was needed. To remedy this condition 
the lower pools were partly filled with sand, a new head trough 
built, and wells driven to supply them. 

Brook Trout. — The brook trout egg collections of the fall 
of 1919 approximated 5,000,000, — a portion of which were 
distributed as eyed eggs, — 1,860,000 being sent to the Sutton 
hatchery; 200,000 to the State of California in exchange for 
Chinook salmon eggs; 750,000 to the State of Washington in 
exchange for silver trout eggs; and 325,000 planted in brooks 
as an experiment in planting artificial trout egg nests, already 
described. The remaining eggs were retained for hatching, and 
resulted in strong, healthy fish. There were 90,000 planted 
as fry, and the remainder held for further rearing, and indica- 
tions pointed to a very satisfactory output of fingerlings at the 
close of the season. 

In May a severe epidemic attacked the trout at the East 
Sandwich hatchery, starting with the adults and yearlings 
kept in the brood stock pools. Immediately the biologist was 
detailed to study the situation, and, when measures to check 
the disease proved unavailing, the best talent of the country 
was consulted, — nearly all in person, — such authorities as 
the experts of the Bureau of Fisheries at Washington, D. C. 
(notably their fish pathologist, Dr. Franz Schraeder); Dr. 
E. E. Tyzzer of the department of comparative pathology, 
Harvard Medical School; Dr. Theobold Smith of the de- 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 85 

partment of animal pathology of the Rockefeller Institute 
for Research and Dr. Peter J. Olitski of the Rockefeller In- 
stitution; Dr. F. P. Gorham of the department of bacteriol- 
ogy, Brown University, Providence, R. I.; Dr. Lester Round, 
Pathologist, Rhode Island Board of Health; Dr. Oscar Teague 
of Columbia University; Dr. Fred Weidmann, pathologist of 
the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens; Dr. H. B. Ward of the 
department of biology, University of Illinois; Dr. Jacob 
Reighard of the University of Michigan; Dr. C. B. Coulter, 
Long Island College Hospital, New York; Dr. Harold Bab- 
cock of the Museum of Natural History, Boston; the fish ex- 
perts of the State fish commissions of New York, Pennsylvania, 
Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Wisconsin and 
Michigan. 

A rigid quarantine was at once placed on the hatchery, and no 
further distributions made. The disease baffled the efforts of all 
fish culturists. From the brood stock it spread in June to 
the fingerlings, then nearly ready for distribution, and in two 
months' time it had destroyed 20,000 brood fish and approxi- 
mately 250,000 fingerlings, practically wiping out the brood 
stock. It eventually became necessary to adopt the radical 
expedient of killing all the surviving fish and sterilizing the 
whole station, to ensure the eradication of the plague. Before 
this was done, however, there was an opportunity for the 
study of the conditions influencing the spread of the disease, 
and of the application of remedial measures. The biologist 
devoted his entire time to the East Sandwich hatchery until 
well into the fall. The results of his study, embodied in his 
report, will prove an important contribution to our knowledge 
of fish diseases. 

Etiology. — The causative organism, readily isolated at the commence- 
ment of the epidemic, is a pleomorphic bacillus, similar in many respects 
to the bacillus of fowl cholera. It produces a septicaemia, or blood poison- 
ing, in the fish, 60 per cent of which show no local lesions discernible to 
the naked eye. Forty per cent show external ulcerated lesions of muscle, 
over various parts of the body. In all cases the bacterium may be ob- 
tained in large numbers from the heart blood. As far as can be learned, 
this organism is pathogenic only for fish. It is absolutely harmless for 
man, as it will not live at the temperature of the human body. 



86 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Name. — The disease is not new, having been first described in 1894, 
in German}', and since then in England, Ireland and in the United States. 
The name " Furunculosis " (usually applied to the development of boils) 
was erroneously given it by the first investigators. As applied to this 
affection as a whole, it is a misnomer, since it describes only one limited 
phase of its protean character, and does not take into consideration the 
important septicemic condition which causes the death of the fish. 

Distribution. — Originally believed to be confined to artificially reared 
fish, it is now considered to exist among wild fish. It is not merely con- 
fined to the salmonidce, but attacks all species of fresh and salt water 
fish indiscriminately. Thirty species of salt-water fish experimentally 
inoculated with virus of the disease rapidly perished. It is present in 
continental Europe, Great Britain and the United States, having been 
reported to exist in New York, New Jersey and Michigan. This instance 
is the first occasion of its being recognized in Massachusetts. Undoubtedly 
it has a much wider range both in fresh and salt water than is ordinarily 
supposed. 

Epidemics. — Epidemics among fish are by no means uncommon, es- 
pecially if artificial food and lack of exercise render the fish much more 
susceptible than ordinarily would be the case. This epidemic is perhaps 
the most virulent on record in the case of this particular disease, and for 
that reason proved of especial value for study. 

Investigation. — A study of the conditions influencing this disease was 
made during the past summer. The results thereof, in many ways dis- 
appointing, are nevertheless of great practical value to this Division, in 
so far as its future work is concerned, as they indicate methods for pre- 
venting repetition of such a condition. Among the observations recorded 
are — 

(1) Effectiveness of quarantine measures. By a rigid isolation of the 
East Sandwich hatches the disease was kept from the Sandwich hatch- 
ery, under the same management, 3 miles distant. 

(2) Necessity of sterilizing or cooking fish utilized as food at the hatch- 
eries, in order to prevent the transmission of bacterial or parasitic diseases 
which might be present and not in evidence. 

(3) Epidemics may be controlled by keeping water temperature below 
55 degrees Fahrenheit, but the disease camiot thus be eliminated. 

(4) Chemical sterilization of the water proves effective in reduction of 
mortality or power of transmission. 

(5) Chemical baths, the usual alternative resorted to by fish culturists, 
proved ineffective, and even harmful. 

(6) Radical extermination, or complete isolation, of all infected stock, 
as soon as disease is recognized, followed by thorough sterilization of 
premises, should be effected. 

(7) A ban should be placed upon all distribution of fish from an in- 
fected hatchery. 

(8) This disease is harmless to warm-blooded animals and man. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 87 

The distribution of fingerling fish made from the Sandwich 
station, to which the epidemic did not spread, was as follows : — 

Amherst rearing station for further rearing, 100,000 

Montague rearing station for further rearing, .... 450,000 

Canton Fish and Game Association for rearing, .... 8,000 

Southeastern Fish and Game Association of Brockton for rearing, 50,000 

Public waters, 215,000 

Retained as additions to brood stock, 35,000 

This last 35,000 included from 15,000 to 20,000 fine finger- 
lings reared from 30,000 eggs from wild stock at the Palmer 
hatchery. In the early winter, after the taking of eggs, 7,577 
adults were shipped from the two branches of the hatchery. 
The greater part was from the East Sandwich hatchery before 
the disease broke out. 

Chinook Salmon. — From the Palmer hatchery 34,400 
Chinook salmon were received for rearing, of which 2,800 were 
dead on arrival. The remainder were held for some months 
and later in the year were planted in the following ponds as 
large-sized fingerlings: — 

Peters Pond, Sandwich, 10,534 

Long Pond, Plymouth, 10,376 

Cliff Pond, Brewster, 10,495 

The young Chinook salmon hatched from eggs spawned in 
fresh water by mature salmon at the Sandwich hatchery were 
liberated in April in Peters Pond, Sandwich, as the pond they 
occupied was required for other purposes. They numbered 
1,000 and averaged in size 2 inches and over. 

Silver Trout. — On January 9, 250,000 silver trout eggs were 
received from Seattle, Wash., in good condition, with a loss 
of only 2,500. These were in exchange for brook trout eggs. 
During, hatching, however, large losses were experienced. The 
fish resulting from this lot of eggs were planted as advanced 
fry, as follows : — 

Peters Pond, Sandwich, 30,000 

Cliff Pond, Brewster, 30,000 

Lake Attitash, Amesbury, 40,000 

Boylston Street Reservoir, Brookline, 10,000 



88 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The silver trout is in reality a landlocked black or sockeyed 
salmon. 

Alewives. — Further experiments in hatching alewife eggs 
were carried on, which are discussed under the topic "Ale- 
wives." 

Sutton Hatchery. 

The Sutton hatchery was operated on the plan of the 
previous year as a hatching and rearing station, and was 
stripped of all stock at the close of 1919, until the eggs from 
the hatch of 1920 were received. 

The work was conducted on about the same scope, with the 
exception that the fingerling output was largely increased, and 
other details were modified by the arrangement that united 
with the conduct of the hatchery the supervision of two 
rearing stations and various special enterprises in the way of 
field work. These duties took more than one hundred and 
fifteen days, or one-third of the year, from the working time 
at the hatchery. It did not in any way affect the output, 
but curtailed general care and upkeep, and deferred the con- 
struction program. Sheathing and painting of the interior of 
the meat house and cook room was finished. The upper 
hatchery was sheathed, and the inside painted and fitted with 
double windows, removable from the inside, to fit it for winter 
use. 

After the rush of spring work the program of new con- 
struction was started. The work was done on units that could 
be developed temporarily to carry fish for the season, the 
permanent work to be put in afterwards. In carrying out this 
work a pool was dug out on the spring supplying the old 
plank pens built in 1897, and this water was used without 
detriment to the ponds below. On the east side, where the 
outside rearing troughs were removed two years ago, the 
water used to feed them was made to supply two ponds dug 
out nearer to the spring, so after this use it could flow into 
the concrete pond that it formerly supplied. On the upper 
part of the brook, above the dam that raised the water to 
supply the upper hatchery and the nursery pools, the brook 
channel was made into a series of rearing pools extending to 
the boundary line of the hatchery grounds. This was done with 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 89 

temporary dams, to be made permanent later, if it proved 
that this development did not interfere with the proper use of 
the water below. 

The springs in the adjoining valley one-half mile to the south 
were again used when it was found that the new work would 
not take care of the excess fry, and the pools that had lain 
idle for two years were utilized with only a slight cleaning. 
These pools carried their stock through without loss or mis- 
hap, although distant from any possible supervision or regular 
attention. 

The chief improvement program for the year was undertaken 
in the fall in making more permanent some of the earlier con- 
struction, and in replacing with permanent concrete work the 
plank pens built in 1897. In place of one pond having a 
capacity of 10,000 fingerlings, and one having 5,000 capacity, 
four ponds were built each with 8,000 to 10,000 capacity. 
Concrete was chosen because the lower end of the location had 
been filled with soft silt, and the upper part had beds of 
quicksand, and neither part would maintain a bank suitable 
for an excavated pond. 

Brook Trout. — There were received from the Sandwich 
station 1,860,000 brook trout eggs, of which 80,000 were re- 
shipped for experimental planting. The quality of the eggs, 
all of which were eyed, averaged fair. The eggs showed a 
loss of 315,000 up to the completion of hatching, and the fry 
a loss of 265,000 up to the time when all were feeding in 
ponds. At that time, early in June, the number was estimated 
at 450,000, and these fry yielded in the distribution that 
lasted from the middle of August to the middle of October 
254,825 fingerlings. 

The spring distribution of fry totaled 700,000, — 320,000 to 
Montague and 380,000 to Amherst. The final shipment to 
each station was from the last hatched yearling fry produced 
from the eggs that in hatching had suffered the heaviest losses 
and gave the most unpromising fry. These lots were shipped 
to test this quality of fry for rearing; and while the percentage 
reared was much lower than with the fry from adult eggs, the 
quality of fingerlings produced was quite as satisfactory. The 
production of yearling eggs is necessary if the stock is kept 



90 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

to spawn as two or three year olds, and if this stock can be 
kept in such numbers that the earliest to mature can be 
discarded, the quality of eggs secured then will justify their 
production in large numbers. The unspawned yearlings if 
planted out immediately in streams supplied with spring-fed 
nursery brooks, where they can spawn naturally, will make a 
valuable addition to the output. 

Distribution of fingerlings began in August. The distribu- 
tion was made to an increasing extent by truck, and with 
increasing efficiency, as no losses resulted, and the numbers 
handled were substantially increased by carrying heavier 
loaded cans than would be practical by rail. In an ordinary 
trip by truck oftentimes promising brooks are passed and are 
unimproved because of lack of local initiative in filing ap- 
plications. By understandings with the local distribution 
organization such brooks were stocked as the truck passed 
through en route for other districts, and the additional fish 
credited to the local organization. This made a wider distribu- 
tion at less expense for these associations, and avoided the com- 
mon error of getting a congestion of fish into near-by brooks. 

Brown Trout. — As set forth elsewhere, brown trout rearing 
was resumed at the Sutton hatchery. A small stock liberated 
in the stream in previous years was recaptured and 30,000 
eggs were purchased from a dealer in New York. They 
hatched well, but were very late, giving the fingerlings only a 
short season for growth. The entire stock was carried over 
until next year, part destined for brood stock and part for 
distribution. 

The development of the brown trout to an extent com- 
mensurate with its importance does not require a separate 
plant, as its culture can be combined to great advantage with 
the brook trout. 

The construction of a new hatching house is regarded as the 
greatest need for the next year. The old hatching house is 
not far from collapse; the heating plant is of slight use, and 
has to be supplemented by oil stoves; the troughs are in the 
last stages of decay and are kept in use only by replacing the 
wood by concrete as it decays; the supply pipe, corroded to a 
thin punctured shell, is kept in use only by wrapping. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 91 



Rearing Stations. 

As a two-year trial had demonstrated the suitability of the 
Montague and Amherst sites for the rearing of fish, early in 
1920 the superintendent of the Sutton hatchery was detailed 
to study the lay-outs and formulate a plan of systematic 
development. 

In the absence of means for permanent construction, the 
use of pools, formed by dividing the brook channel into sections 
by means of small temporary dams, was decided upon as 
affording sufficient capacity for the increase desired in one 
year's work, and not interfering with any permanent con- 
struction. All existing equipment was used, and the ponds 
which supply the rearing pools were fitted for fry ponds, 
although kept in their former use also. 

At the rearing stations (where one of the objects is to have 
the fish raised to age of distribution in the locality where they 
are to be planted) many fingerlings can be raised to the 
yearling size. In moderate numbers they would subsist on 
the waste from feeding fingerlings and larger numbers could 
be fed on a cheaper grade of meat. They can be kept and 
will make their best growth in water that is substantially be- 
yond the use of fry, and, if distributed in numbers with 
reference to the spawning facilities where they are put, they 
will give, in effect, a double stocking, as besides the stock of 
well-grown fish for the greater stream they will, by ascending 
the nursery streams and spawning there, stock these streams 
with fry the next season, and to a large extent this stocking 
will be in the inaccessible places not reached in ordinary 
distribution. Stocking with yearlings has a special value to a 
stream that by reason of unfavorable conditions, or over- 
fishing, has been depleted of its brood stock. 

Montague Rearing Station. — Operations were begun at 
Montague in February while the snow lay deep, and were 
pushed through the later period of the unusual winter con- 
ditions, so that a considerable part of the work was done and 
the ponds stocked before the end of March. Work during 
this period was largely in making additional channels for the 
brook, as the flow was too great for one. These channels were 



92 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

made by loosening the soil and allowing the silt to be carried 
down stream, where it was used in making a dyke to form a 
diversion channel to carry silt and flood water around the pond, 
and, whenever required in winter, to divert the excess spring 
water so that the ice would^ form on the pond for cutting. 
This work promises an effective control of the water to be 
supplied below for hatching, and, w T hen necessary, it can be 
used at temperatures varying from 35 to 50 degrees. As the 
season advanced and conditions permitted, the work was 
extended to the east branch, and pools were constructed 
toward both sources as far as was justified by the flow of 
water. On account of lack of suitable material for making the 
type of dam used on the other brook, which, although tempo- 
rary, will serve for several years, dams were made of sand 
bags, and will require replacement before another season. 

A pool was constructed below the large dam, to hold an 
assortment of exhibition fish. Below the junction of the two 
brooks a screen of large capacity was built to guard against 
loss of fry in an overflow. • 

The part of the land purchased last year from the Fournier 
farm was fenced with a woven wire fence, and a new road 
from the highway was opened wholly on the station land. A 
small planting of pines w r as made at the most exposed point 
where drifting snow would make a windbreak necessary. The 
shelter house formerly used at the Pittsfield station was 
erected near the brook below the rearing pools on a concrete 
foundation and fitted for a meat house. 

Cutting brush and cleaning to open the ground in advance 
of work continued through the season. Excavation for yearling 
pools was begun below the lower screen. A channel was cut 
to take the winter flood water from the east branch and carry 
it to a point below the yearling pools. This channel is not 
subject to flood during the summer, and will be used for 
fingerling work. The embankment made in carrying the 
overflow channel down the valley cuts this section off, and it 
has been laid out as a rearing pond where the line of pools 
down this branch will terminate. At the upper end of this 
branch, at a point where a road can be laid out to the ice 
house over level ground, a section of the valley has been 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 93 

cleared for an ice pond, and a road leading to it cut through 
the brush. 

Shipments of fingerlings for rearing, numbering 450,000, were 
received at the Montague station from Sandwich, and, de- 
ducting losses in transportation, 309,000 remained for rearing. 
Losses were heavy on account of transportation in cans which 
experience proved to be unsuitable, that is, 20-gallon cans 
used by reason of shortage of the 10-gallon ones in ordinary 
use. Receipts from Sutton numbered 320,000 fry, which 
losses in shipment brought down to 317,000, making the total 
to be reared 626,000. They made good growth during the 
summer, and those in the water supply pond grew particularly 
fast, some being 6 inches long in September. These latter, 
numbering approximately 20,000, were reserved for rearing to 
fingerlings. Distribution, which began July 7, was made en- 
tirely by truck. Total plant, 183,000. 

Amherst Rearing Station. — The Amherst station was opened 
on March 18 when the pools were buried under snow, the 
ground deeply covered, and only the larger watercourses open. 
The snow was disposed of, the pools dried and painted, the 
natural pools excavated and finished for use in the open 
channels from the upper springs, and on March 25, a week 
from the opening, the first fry were shipped in. The work of 
building the natural pools was pushed rapidly, and all were 
substantially ready by the middle of April, the last shipment 
of fry going in on the 17th. 

The reservoir was cleared out and screened for holding fry, 
although still kept in use for feeding the nursery pools. The 
waste ditch from this pond and from the nursery pools was 
utilized for a line of pools extending from the dam to the 
west side of the lot, but the flow of water was too great in 
the lower part for practical use, and in the upper part it w T as 
necessary to build a penstock from the pond to the unused 
stream in the center to divert a part of it. 

North of this stream the smaller stream used to feed the 
wooden pools sunk in the ground was increased in volume by 
diverting several springs, some that flowed into the pond and 
some that flowed to the north branch. The water from these 
springs was brought in through small pools, and on the whole 



94 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

length of the stream to its junction with the main stream 
natural pools were built. The wooden pools were removed 
and the material in them built into the new meat house. 

The north branch rising near the main spring center, but 
flowing diagonally across the valley to the north side, and 
receiving there many tributary springs, was cleaned out and 
pools built with no appreciable amount of excavation, as the 
stream flowed in a depression well suited to the type of pools 
used. This stream was almost completely shaded by natural 
growth, and made a most valuable line of pools. Other pools 
were built on small tributary springs to test their capacity. 
The material to dam the stream at proper distances to form 
these pools was found in abundance on the ground. Tough 
sods were laid in layers over a 24-inch section of tile to drain 
the pool when necessary to catch the fingerlings, gravel was 
tamped in between the layers of sods, and the whole topped with 
a layer of cobbles bedded into the sods. This work gave very 
satisfactory service, and promised several years of usefulness. 

A meat house was built on the high bank below the driveway 
to the rearing pools, so as to permit the construction of a con- 
crete basement under it in the near future for a meat room, 
the upper part then to serve for a workshop and can storage. 

At the end of the rearing season extensive cleaning on the 
grounds was done, and openings were cut through the thick 
brush to facilitate surveying and locating future construction. 

The camp was moved to a new location where it could be 
in partial shade, set on a concrete foundation, and the founda- 
tion for a veranda was put in, to be completed later. 

The stock was made up almost wholly of late fry, but its 
growth exceeded the expectation for early fry and showed a 
hardiness and vigor that could not be excelled. The station 
and the stock was subjected to a very severe test in July by 
a local cloud-burst. The flood of water overflowed the banks 
of the water courses, and all pools were deeply submerged, 
some being completely filled with gravel, and in others the 
dams washed out. From these pools the fish were forced out 
to the pools below, but in all the others there was only a 
moderate drift down stream. This confirmed previous ex- 
perience as to the tenacity with which the fish will cling to 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 95 

their home pools. In a case like this they sink and lie close 
to the bottom, but it shows the importance of guarding against 
the unexpected by having a large emergency screen and pool 
at the lower end. 

Of the 480,000 fry received at Amherst, over 100,000 were 
lost in transit. The loss in rearing was moderate at all periods, 
and from about 360,000 placed in the ponds 152,400 fingerlings 
were distributed. But for the summer flood this would have 
been almost 170,000. 

During the year the 6 acres of land held under lease at the 
Amherst rearing station, having proved suitable in every way 
for the requirement of the station, were purchased from 
Lillian B. Graves for $447.75. 

Pittsfield Rearing Station. — This site was definitely aban- 
doned, having proved entirely unsuitable for fish culture. The 
lease was permitted to lapse, and materials belonging to the 
Division removed. 

Sandicich Bird Farm. 

The heavy snow of the winter of 1919-20 made the task 
of caring for the stock a laborious one. Storm after storm 
made it a continuous struggle to keep the paths open so that 
the stock could be cared for, and to keep the wire tops of the 
covered pens clear. Very little construction work was done, 
except that the work shop was completed by addition of a 
cement floor, making an excellent room for the incubator. 
Some trimming of brush was done and the gravel walk was 
improved upon in duck yard Xo. 2. With the arrival of 
spring the regular routine of the breeding and planting season 
was followed, but as it was practically impossible to hire help 
in plowing and harrowing, the desired amount of farming 
could not be done. 

Ducks. — About the first of April, pursuant to the decision 
to discontinue the rearing of certain ducks, the brood stock 
of mallards (17) and black ducks (56) were distributed. This 
sudden change in plans caused an extra amount of work as 
the ducks had already been placed in their breeding yards 
and were difficult to recapture. 

Wood Ducks. — The wood ducks alone of the ducks were 
retained, and breeding will be continued in accordance with 



96 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

the expressed wish of various persons interested in them. 
Starting with a brood stock of 101 adults on December 1 the 
shipment of 7 and the loss by death of 19 reduced the number 
placed in the breeding pens to 75. This season was less 
successful than last. Though the weather conditions were 
almost perfect, additional work in changing over the equip- 
ment left less time for the care of the young stock, and this 
was reflected in the output. There w T ere 483 eggs collected, of 
which 26 were distributed, 18 broken, and 439 set under 
bantams, hatching 299; 208 were lost from all causes; 91 
were raised, of which 56 were distributed, 14 kept for brood 
stock, and 21 disappeared after attaining full growth. Among 
the brood stock there have died and disappeared since spring 16 
birds, leaving 59 adults, which, added to the 14 young retained 
for breeders, makes 73 ducks to carry through the winter. 

Pheasants. — With the duck work discontinued all efforts 
over and above the work on quail were directed to the rearing 
of pheasants, pursuant to the year's plan. Pheasant rearing 
is new work at this station. The late date at which the 
change was made did not permit extensive preparations, and 
the only equipment was the station's one small incubator and 
the flock of bantams, together with three incubators and four 
brooders which were borrowed. After considerable delay 3,044 
eggs w r ere secured (1,420 from the Wilbraham Game Farm and 
1,624 from commercial dealers). The fertility of the eggs varied 
greatly. On the whole, and taking into account the unprepared- 
ness for the undertaking, and the inevitable weakening of the 
germs through transportation, the results were fairly satisfac- 
tory. The hatch of young pheasants was 1,389, and 514 were 
raised to maturity. Of these, 310 were distributed, and 204 held 
for the following year's brood stock. Before the close of the fis- 
cal year this number was reduced, through losses and escapes, 
to 172 to carry through the winter. Construction of a large 
covered yard for winter quarters was started about November 1, 
and by the close of the year a portion had been completed and 
the brood stock safely housed. 

Quail. — At the opening of the year 121 breeders were on 
hand, to which a new stock of 31 birds was added. In February 
9 were buried under the drifting snow during a very severe 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 97 

storm and later were found dead in roosting formation. Further 
losses of 10 and the shipment of 15 excess cocks to the Franklin 
Park Zoo and to Brockton for breeding purposes left 58 pairs 
placed in breeding quarters. The season, as far as vegetation 
was concerned, was three weeks behind time, and the quail 
laid late in consequence. In spite of the severity of the 
weather the stock came through the winter in first-class con- 
dition and good results were anticipated. Results in rearing 
the young were rather poor, however, though the weather 
conditions were almost perfect. This can only be accounted 
for by the reduced amount of attention they received, because 
of overwork in other branches. There were 1,105 eggs col- 
lected, 12 of which were distributed, 56 broken, and 1,037 set 
under bantams. From these, 664 were hatched and 176 raised. 
After distributing 64 of these birds the balance of 112 were 
added to the brood stock for next year, making a total of 178. 

Vermin. — ■ While always present on a game farm, vermin 
have their seasons of abundance and scarcity. The rat, for 
instance, is always to be contended with, although this season 
they have been better under control here than ever before. 
On the other hand, the weasel shows up only at certain seasons. 
A very few are caught in the late fall and winter, and then no 
more are seen until June or even July, when a whole family 
will show up at once, and remain until the last one is caught. 
Apparently the family has been raised some distance away, 
and their roving disposition carries them to fields anew. This 
season the station was visited by 5, all of which were caught 
in two days before any injury had been done to the stock. 
The first of August a party of 4 appeared, which it took a week 
to capture. Meantime 15 young pheasants, 4 wood ducks, a 
bantam and a rooster became their victims. The last visita- 
tion came about September 20, and the animals being older, 
spread over more territory. Their toll was a bantam mother 
with 10 young quails, 6 adult quail in one row of breeding 
coops and 21 in another row, and it took ten days to catch 
them. 

The hawks are usually scattering birds or pairs during the 
winter and spring months, and can usually be controlled. 
The greatest trouble is experienced during the fall migration. 



98 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



They do not appear in flocks, but one, two or three every 
day. This lasts several weeks and they are very annoying and 
destructive to the young and oftentimes to the bantam mother. 
During September the station employees captured on an 
average nearly a hawk a day, mostly Coopers, a few sharp- 
shinned, and one sparrow hawk. The marsh hawks, though 
present all summer and fall, did less damage than common. 
Though it is difficult to estimate the amount of damage done 
by hawks at this time of year, probably 10 per cent during 
September is a fair estimate. 

The great horned owl is a regular visitor between September 
15 and March 15, attracted by the ducks. Skunks are scarce 
and do practically no damage. There are occasional visits from 
coons. Foxes do occasional damage, but their numbers have 
been greatly reduced the past few years. 

List of vermin killed during the season of 1920: — 



Great horned owls, . 
Red-shouldered hawks, 
Cooper hawks, . 
Pigeon hawk, 
Sparrow hawks, 
Weasels, 



7 
2 

41 
1 
5 

18 



Coon, 1 

Skunks, 2 

Snapping turtles, . . .12 
Black snakes, .... 4 
Rats, too numerous to mention. 



Marsh field Bird Farm. 
When the fiscal year opened there was on hand a selected 
brood stock of 506 mallard ducks. As previously stated it was 
determined to discontinue breeding these birds. In March this 
stock was disposed of by sale or distribution in the covers, and 
with very little notice of the proposed change Superintendent 
Sherman was asked to put his plant into condition to carry 
out the experiment of raising pheasants by the use of incu- 
bators and brooders on a large scale. For some time we have 
had the growing conviction that some method must be devised 
to produce more pheasants and at a less cost than has been 
accomplished at our stations in the past few years. While 
some improvement seems possible in the old method of hatch- 
ing and rearing by bantams, it seemed that still greater results 
must be achieved, and the experiment with the incubators and 
brooders was undertaken. Marshfield was selected for this 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 99 

purpose for the reason that this station was already equipped 
with incubator house and incubators, and two brooder houses, 
one 100 feet and the other 200 feet in length, both artificially 
heated. No other station is so equipped. The plant had to 
be remodeled to the extent of filling in some of the runs ad- 
joining the brood houses so that they would be less moist than 
was necessary for the ducks, and much of the wire netting 
had to be changed to a smaller mesh, though all of the wire at 
the station was used in remodeling. Carpenters being unpro- 
curable, five wardens did the work. Before construction work 
could be completed the breeding season arrived, bringing its 
own work, and the building of yards was interrupted to be re- 
sumed of necessity when the birds reached the stage where 
they required new quarters. For lack of wire the yards in 
front of the house were not completed until the first of No- 
vember. For the accommodation of the breeding birds 15 
pens were built in the orchard, where the birds would be un- 
disturbed by visitors. Five portable brood houses were con- 
structed by the superintendent during the spring months for 
additional rearing quarters for young stock. A portion of the 
green food needed for feeding was raised on the farm, — clover, 
mangle beets, lettuce, cucumbers, melons and cabbages. 

The pheasant stock brought over from the previous year 
consisted of 65 of the incubator-hatched, brooder-reared birds 
raised experimentally in 1919 and 20 purchased from outside 
sources. Twenty excess cocks were liberated, leaving 65 birds 
as the egg-producing stock for the season's work. There were 
2,295 eggs secured from the station's brood stock and 5,212 
from other sources, 3,000 from the Wilbraham game farm and 
2,212 from private dealers. After elimination of broken and un- 
suitable eggs, 7,378 were set in incubators; 3,889 chicks were 
hatched (the balance of the eggs set were accounted for by dead 
germs and infertile eggs). 

Hatching was done entirely in incubators and rearing in 
brooders. During the process of incubation it was the practice 
to make two tests, and all infertile eggs were eliminated. As 
each setting hatched out, the young birds were allowed to 
remain in the machine for a time until dried off, then trans- 
ferred to the small brooder house and each lot kept separate 



100 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

from lots previously hatched. A rate of temperature was 
maintained that would ensure against chilling until such time 
as the chicks were strong enough to be moved to the large 
brooder house. In this latter house they were moved from 
section to section through gradually lower temperatures, until 
finally they were entirely without artificial heat. 

When the young birds reached the heatless section of the 
brooder house they were provided with outside runways, to 
which they had access in pleasant weather. In unfavorable 
weather the doors were closed and the birds confined to the 
house. On reaching the large brooder house, generally at the 
age of from ten days to two weeks, the birds were turned into 
pens trimmed thickly with small trees and heaps of boughs 
so arranged as to furnish hiding places, — this with the idea 
of letting the birds acquire the habit of concealment before 
they should be turned out to shift for themselves. Events 
proved this to be a very necessary feature of their bringing up, 
for on being first introduced into the dressed pens, the chicks 
showed no inclination whatever to take to the underbrush, 
but kept about in the open. After a few days, however, they 
learned to work their way into the brush, to take to cover 
when startled, and to roost or to conceal themselves in it at 
night. As the birds became larger they were held in runways 
of larger size until liberated. 

The birds developed plumage rapidly, — feeding being regu- 
lated to that end, — and at the age of five weeks were properly 
feathered so that they might have been turned into the covers 
with entire safety. But the stock was held at the station 
until still further developed in order that the finest specimens 
might be selected for brood stock. 

There were no losses from disease, though there was some 
mortality from overcrowded pens and lack of vitality in the 
young frcm the weaker eggs. Losses came mostly at night, 
for in the absence of a mother hen, the chicks become 
frightened easily and having no natural refuge huddle into 
corners, resulting in deaths by crushing. This was overcome 
by encircling the chicks at closing-up time with netting, 
forming a temporary fence of circular shape, thus depriving 
the birds of access to the dangerous corners. It was noticed 







Kmaf «5s^^ 


H3F- Si6^J^vt^ > 



Removing a tray of pheasant chicks, just hatched, from the incubator, Marshfielcl Bird Farm. 
Reproduced through the courtesy of the "Boston Globe," A. L. Belcher, photographer. 
(Copyright.) 




Pheasant chicks in brooder house, Marshfield Bird Farm. Reproduced through the courtesy 
of the "Boston Globe," A. L. Belcher, photographer. 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 101 

from time to time that a bird or two was missing from the 
pens, but the reason could not be discovered. One day, how- 
ever, 174 birds disappeared within a couple of hours, and it 
was found that rats from a recently closed grain mill had 
secured access under the board approach to the house. Their 
extermination was promptly accomplished. 

With the pheasants, as with the ducks, the most rigid 
cleanliness was observed in the yards, houses and utensils, no 
spoiled food was allowed to stand before them, and a supply 
of clean drinking water was available at all times. 

There were reared 1,983 pheasants; 1,333 of which were 
distributed to applicants; 650 were retained for next year's 
brood stock, which will be sufficient to produce all eggs needed 
for the farm. 

The hatching and rearing of pheasants on a large scale 
entirely without hens being a new departure, hitherto pro- 
nounced by game-bird breeders to be impossible, considerable 
interest was shown in the progress of the work. Many hun- 
dreds of visitors came to the farm, and some from distant 
States. Reels of motion pictures were taken by the Pathe 
Company, the Educational Films, Inc. (kineographs), and for 
the publicity work of the Fish and Game Division. 

Wilbraham Game Farm. 

At the beginning of the fiscal year, Dec. 1, 1919, account of 
stock was taken, large pens moved to new ground and so 
arranged as to protect the birds from the northerly winds and 
storms, and the brood stock placed in winter quarters. To 
the 530 pheasants on hand 50 were added by purchase, making 
the total to carry through the winter 580. Rearing coops 
were cleaned, repaired and packed away, and fuel gathered, 
and after the first heavy storm (about the middle of January) 
whatever time remained after disposing of the routine work 
•was used in clearing the pens and buildings of snow. Very few 
changes were made in construction or improvements at the farm. 

From the brood stock in winter quarters 2 birds were 
liberated and 7 died, leaving 571 breeders at the beginning of 
the laying season. That wheat is the backbone not only of 
human diet, but that of nearly all species of birds, was proved 



102 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

this spring by the condition of the brood stock at the be- 
ginning of the laying season. Although the winter of 1919-20 
was one of the most severe in point of cold, snow and water 
that has been experienced in the history of the station, the 
birds came through in the best possible condition. The winter 
loss was 7 birds from a stock of 580 (1.2 per cent) against a 
loss of 47 out of 591 (or 7.8 per cent) the previous winter, 
making the loss during 1919-20 6.6 per cent lower in the face 
of the unusually severe winter conditions. In explanation of 
this it is to be noted that wheat was practically unobtainable 
during the winter of 1918-19, so to forestall another shortage 
50 bushels were produced on the game farm in 1919. This 
was used in feeding the brood stock through the winter of 
1919-20. The actual results noted from the addition of this 
home-grown wheat to the regular winter feeding formulas were 
healthier and more active birds; smaller percentage of loss 
during the winter; higher fertility in the eggs; lower death 
rate in the shell, indicating stronger germination, and higher 
vitality in the young birds. 

Although the winter brought a great quantity of snow and 
lasted late, yet when it actually gave way to better weather 
it did so rapidly, and the first setting of eggs laid came a few 
days earlier (and was larger) than in the preceding year. The 
first eggs laid were chilled by a severe storm of hail which 
covered the ground for twenty-four hours. The number of 
soft-shelled eggs was large because shells to feed the laying 
birds were unobtainable. This made a higher percentage 
than usual of eggs broken by setting hens. 

The egg production of the game farm was 16,855, to which 
were added 400 purchased, making the total to be handled 
17,255. These were disposed of as follows: 8,413 set under 
hens; 3,452 distributed to applicants; 1,420 shipped to the East 
Sandwich bird farm, 3,000 to the Marshfield bird farm and 800 
to the Myles Standish State Forest for hatching; 170 lost. 

The eggs set hatched 4,724 chicks, of which 1,041 were reared. 
Of these, 964 were distributed and 77 retained for brood stock. 

At the optning of the hatching season, when more help was 
required to care for the setting hens, brood stock and young 
birds in the rearing field, it was practically impossible to 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



103 



obtain men. Two new men employed late in the season proved 
incapable and were released. During the time they were on 
the force the percentage of hatch dropped noticeably. 

Some of the first hatches were almost entirely lost through 
a sickness caused by the damp weather. The first symptoms 
are similar to a disease known as aspergillosis, or mold in the 
throat. It caused the birds to sneeze, choke and breathe with 
difficulty; in the more advanced stages the birds refused to 
eat, and grew gradually weaker until death ensued. In com- 
bating the disease rearing conditions were made as sanitary as 
possible and after considerable experimentation a fairly suc- 
cessful remedy was found. Treatment required much time (as 
the remedy had to be applied with a feather to the affected 
parts) and many died before they could receive attention. 
With the exception of this one sickness there was very small 
loss from disease. 

When the birds are first put in pens, range conditions are 
duplicated as nearly as possible and they are fed plenty of 
green food, shells, grit and charcoal. 

During the season 82 adult pheasants were liberated, — 
mostly egg-eating birds, those that began laying late in the 
season, and others undesirable for brood stock. 

Very little farming was done compared with other years. 
Green food and winter vegetables were raised for the birds, and 
2\ acres of corn and 12 acres of grass. Buckwheat was sown 
where coops stood during the winter. 

The usual fight was made against petty nocturnal marauders. 
Especially during the summer months when the young birds 
are in the rearing field do the skunks, rats, crows and hawks 
exact their toll. With the help of a spirited dog, traps and the 
usual precautions, rats have been kept pretty well under con- 
trol. Among the vermin killed during the year have been — 



Skunks, 31 

Weasels, 4 

Cats, 4 

Gray fox, 1 

Long-eared owl, ... 1 



Crows, 

Marsh hawks, . 
Red-shouldered hawks, 
Rats 



14 
3 
3 

32 



104 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



FISH AND GAME DISTRIBUTION. 

The work of distributing the stock of fish and game varied 
but little from that of the preceding years, though a few 
points are worthy of mention as having brought about better 
results. Mention has been frequently made of the desirability 
of distributing through the medium of auto trucks direct 
from the stations. This method was used more extensively 
in 1920 than in any previous year, and the results entirely 
justify the expense incurred. In fact, the expense which, at 
first glance, may appear to be of large proportions is no 
greater than the expense incurred in railroad trips where 
incidental expenses are to be met. The principal advantages 
gained from using trucks are that it is possible to meet con- 
signees much nearer to the places of actual distribution; 
the receivers then have to drive but a short distance to the 
waters, and can return the cans immediately to a convenient 
point where they can be picked up by the truck returning to 
the hatchery. 

Additional to the direct distribution by trucks many people 
have expressed a willingness to call at the hatcheries for their 
fish. This saves the State expense in transportation, and offers 
an opportunity to instruct the consignees personally as to the 
best way of handling the stock. 

The lack of training on the part of the receivers in proper 
methods of liberating stock is another difficulty. Organiza- 
tions throughout the State have regularly appointed commit- 
tees to handle the fish or birds consigned to the organization. 
This is very desirable and there is no wish to bring any dis- 
credit on these persons who give so freely of their time and 
means in the furtherance of this work, but it is suggested, 
for the sake of efficiency, that care be used in selecting com- 
mittees who are familiar with the work. 

The can situation in 1920 was the same as in the past few 
years, — a poor market, and, where anything at all was 
obtainable, prohibitive prices. Efforts to place orders in 
February found the market sold to October 1, compelling 
once more loaning cans from hatchery to hatchery. This 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 105 

somewhat delayed the completion of the work beyond the 
time set. 

The increased facilities at Montague and Amherst, with a 
correspondingly increased output, eliminated the necessity of 
shipping fish from the eastern section of the State into the far 
western sections, with a consequent saving in expense. The 
wardens assigned as fish distributing messengers are annually 
showing increased efficiency and a splendid spirit of co-opera- 
tion. 

Salvage operations were concerned principally with the 
white perch at Marthas Vineyard and black bass fry at Fall 
River. The latter, conducted through the courtesy of the 
Watuppa Water Board, was largely of an experimental nature 
and entirely successful. With many ponds now barred to 
general fishing on account of being set aside as water supplies. 
If the Division can secure permission to transfer the surplus 
fish to open waters, the general public may have the benefit 
of these fish, which otherwise are serving no useful purpose, 
and more extensive stocking can he done than would be pos- 
sible with only the product of the hatcheries. 

The white perch distribution was, numerically, slightly 
behind that of 1919, due to the late run of the fish and small 
catches in the traps. In this work we co-operated with the 
commissions of New Hampshire and Vermont in an inter- 
change of courtesies. It is worthy of comment that the fish 
which were handled from Vineyard Haven to a distant point 
in Vermont went through with only two dead on arrival. 
Similar success attended the distribution to New Hampshire. 

The efficiency of the administrative work at the central 
office was increased by the assignment of a warden to act as 
messenger-in-chief during the summer. The duties were 
largely routing shipments going through Boston, assignment 
and direction of assisting messengers, and other details pre- 
viously handled by the supervisor of distributions. 

The expenses directly chargeable to the distribution of fish 
are larger than in former years, due largely to the increased 
tariffs for railroad travel, living expenses and cartage. In 
1920 $6,995.72 was expended for fish distribution. Of this, 
$4,832.67 was for support and traveling expenses of messengers, 



106 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

$1,817.72 for teaming and carting outside of the Division's 
own equipment, $50.19 for ice, and $295.14 for miscellaneous 
expenses, which included $108 for a baggage truck and $177 
for a complete new supply of aerators to care for fish in trans- 
portation. 

The liberation of white hares is becoming an important fea- 
ture of the divisional activities, and the demand far exceeds 
the supply. This year 1,004 were purchased in Maine and lib- 
erated. 

The output of pheasants from the game farms was sup- 
plemented by the purchase of 1,000 birds, which were dis- 
tributed from the breeders to the consignees direct, with 
satisfactory results. The cost of transporting pheasants and 
hares to applicants was $640.70. 

Acknowledgment is due to the railroad companies for the 
satisfactory manner in which shipments of fish were handled 
gratuitously, so long as accompanied by a messenger pre- 
senting paid transportation. The express companies likewise 
assisted in the handling of. the game birds and animals. Ex- 
perience shows, however, that where shipment can be made by 
automobile and the time on the road reduced, the benefits 
derived by placing the stock in the open without the devitaliz- 
ing experiences of a hard trip make this method preferable, 
even assuming that the cost of either method of transportation 
is the same. 



1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



107 







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1 
In 

C 

§ 


erkshire, 
ristol, . 
ukes, . 
ssex, 
ranklin, 


C 

-a 
ft 
- 
3 


i 

i 

S3 


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orfolk, . 
lymouth, 




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mental. 

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108 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Distribution 







Brook Trout. 


3 

£ 

© 
> 


Smaxl-mouthed 
Black Bass. 


County. 




>> 


05 

bC 

a 

© 

bfl 


co 

"3 

XI 

< 


>> 
u 


a 

© 

a 

c 

S 


i 
"3 

< 


Barnstable, 


- 


90,000 


3,000 


400 


60,000 


18,000 


6,600 


- 


Berkshire, . 




- 


- 


91,700 


575 


99,500 


74,000 


- 


- 


Bristol, 




- 


- 


31,000 


650 


- 


27,000 


- 


- 


Dukes, 




- 


- 


4,000 


100 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Essex, 




- 


- 


67,125 


1,050 


40,000 


12,000 


2,500 


- 


Franklin, . 




- 


- 


78,300 


625 


- 


28,000 


- 


- 


Hampden, 




- 


- 


58,400 


575 


- 


26,000 


1,250 


- 


Hampshire, 




103,000 


- 


102,000 


650 


49,000 


36,000 


- 


- 


Middlesex, 




28,000 


- 


94,800 


1,075 


- 


72,000 


3,700 


- 


Norfolk, . 




50,000 


- 


50,500 


500 


10,000 


39,000 


- 


- 


Plymouth, 




200,000 


- 


83,000 


450 


- 


18,000 


12,300 


- 


Suffolk, . 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Worcester, . 




24,000 


- 


141,400 


900 


50,000 


36,000 


1,300 


- 


Out of State, 




950,000 


- 


- 


27 


- 


- 


- 


24 


Totals, 


1,355,000 


90,000 


805,225 


7,577 


308,500 


386,000 


27,650 


24 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



109 



during 


the Year 1920. 
















M 

C3 CO 

7Z M 


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s 

qq 

u 



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GO 


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< 


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a 

© 

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11 

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ES 

O 

t- 

9 

fa 

| 

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a 


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13 



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O 


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S 
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m 

M 




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©• 

O 

fa 


Totals. 


© o 

M 

© on 
bfl =3 
^« 


GO 

be 
M 

H 


-a 

OS 
fa 


7,000 


- 


3,000 


- 


500,000 


- 


21,029 


- 


- 


709,029 


- 


- 


10,800 


- 


2,300,000 


" 


- 


- 


- 


2,576,575 


- 


- 


5,100 


- 


750,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


813,750 


- 


- 


2,000 


- 


500,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


506,100 


- 


9,000,000 


7,200 


- 


500,000 


- 


202,400 


- 


- 


9,832,275 


- 


- 


6,000 


- 


600,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


712,925 


- 


- 


5,400 


250 


500,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


591,875 


- 


- 


7,400 


- 


950,000 


5,000 


5,000 


- 


103,000 


1,155,050 


- 


- 


6,400 


- 


1,175,000 


100 


- 


600 


28,000 


1,353,675 


- 


- 


8,400 


- 


400,000 


- 


- 


- 


50,000 


508,400 


- 


20,750,000 


8,800 


- 


650,000 


- 


10,376 


- 


200,000 


21,532,926 


- 


- 


2,200 


- 


175,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


177,200 


- 


- 


23,800 


- 


750,000 


- 


9,500 


- 


24,000 


1,012,900 


- 


- 


16,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


950,000 


16,051 


7,000 


29,750,000 


112,500 


250 


9,750,000 


5,100 


248,305 


600 


1,355,000 


41,498,731 



110 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



MARINE FISHERIES. 

Inspection of Fish. 

In February, 1918, the attention of the Legislature was 
called to the condition of the fish industry of the State, and 
a joint special committee was appointed to investigate the 
industry. The scope of the committee's work embraced in- 
quiry into the methods employed in the marketing of fish; 
the circumstances affecting the current abnormal prices; the 
rapid increase in the cost to the consumer; the cold storage 
of fish as affecting the price thereof; the conditions attending 
the receipt of fish at the Fish Pier in Boston and the methods 
of disposing of the same; and the relation of the wholesale 
to the retail price. The committee was ordered to report its 
findings, together with such recommendations for legislation 
or other procedure as it might deem expedient. 

By vote of the Legislature, the work of this committee was 
continued by a joint special recess committee. This com- 
mittee made an exhaustive study of the whole situation, and 
in April, 1919, made a report on the conditions they found to 
exist in the fish industry. 

In view of these conditions, and following the suggestions 
and recommendations embodied in the report of the com- 
mittee, and with the purpose of effecting a remedy, the Legis- 
lature of 1919 enacted chapter 351, General Acts of 1919, 
providing for the appointment by the Governor and Council 
of an Inspector of Fish. Pursuant to this act His Excellency 
on November 5, 1919, appointed Arthur L. Millett as Inspec- 
tor of Fish. Inspector Millett was for many years connected 
with the United States Bureau of Fisheries as its agent at 
Gloucester; he served as fisheries advisory expert to United 
States Counsel in the North Atlantic Coast Fisheries Arbitra- 
tion before the Hague Tribunal in 1910; and from 1916 to 
1919 was a member of the Board of Commissioners on Fisheries 
and Game of Massachusetts. His report for the first year of 
work follows : — 

The activities of the office of Inspector of Fish are prescribed 
in chapter 351, General Acts of 1919. The work in the past 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. Ill 

year, by and with the advice of the committee on ways and 
means and the Supervisor of Administration, has been a 
campaign of education to acquaint the public in general, and 
the fish dealers and cold-storage proprietors in particular, with 
the provisions of the law, and to ascertain whac is necessary 
for its proper enforcement. 

The work contemplates the inspection of some 200,000,000 
pounds of fresh food fish. This is a tremendous undertaking, 
which the Inspector will be practically powerless to accomplish 
unless provided with a reasonable number of deputies, to the 
end that the full value of the act may accrue to the public 
and to the fish dealers. 

Much time has been given to the situation at the Boston 
Wholesale Fish Pier and at Gloucester, — the two principal 
points of fresh fish landings, — as a result of which it can be 
safely said that the public has already benefited in the way 
of more good fish and less poor fish placed on the market, 
and with the prospect that in the not too distant future, 
with an adequate deputy force at work, fish unsuitable for 
food will be entirely eliminated not only from stores but even 
from the trips of the vessels. 

Conferences, Meetings and Hearings. 
During the winter at many hearings held with Boston, 
Gloucester and Cape Cod representatives of the wholesale fresh 
and frozen fish industries and with leaders of the retail fish 
business of Boston, the law was analyzed, and ail points 
minutely considered and explained. It was evident that these 
interests approved the purposes of the act. Tentative regula- 
tions for the enforcement of the act were drafted, designed to 
safeguard the public and at the same time be just and fair to 
the fish dealers. To acquaint all parties in interest with the 
proposed regulations, to afford opportunity for public discussion 
and to secure suggestions, public hearings were held at twenty- 
seven centers. These meetings were given much advance 
publicity by the press, and each dealer was provided with a 
copy of the act and the proposed regulations. Beside these 
hearings, three general meetings, officially advertised in twenty- 
two newspapers were held, at Boston, Worcester and Spring- 



112 FISH AND GAME. [Nov 

field, designed to cover the eastern, middle and western parts 
of the State. 

The value of all these hearings cannot be overestimated, 
and in consequence of good attendance have been a source of 
advancement in fisheries knowledge. The interest shown was 
unmistakable. Many dealers openly stated that the act was 
one long needed not only for the protection of the public but 
also for the protection of the dealers who desire to do business 
in a proper manner. 

In addition to these general hearings and meetings unan- 
nounced visits were made to the retail markets in Boston and 
elsewhere to study conditions at first hand. At the Boston 
Fish Pier and at Gloucester study at close range was made of 
conditions obtaining in the wholesale end of the business. 
The great interest taken by the fishermen and the wholesale 
fish dealers of Gloucester and Boston in the act and the plans 
for its enforcement was shown in a most practical way when 
the Director of the Division and the Inspector of Fish were 
officially invited to attend the sessions of the joint conference 
council, a body composed of members of the Trawlers Owners 
Association and officials of the Fishermen's Union, who, real- 
izing the unhealthy state of affairs under which the trawling 
branch of the fish business has been laboring for some time, 
are bending their best thought and energies to a practical, 
business-like and permanent solution of their difficulties and 
differences. At the meeting of that body on November 5, held 
in Boston, it was clearly stated that the co-operation of the 
State was desired in the matter of adequate fish inspection, 
and one of the leaders on each side stated openly that it 
was practically useless to attempt an amicable solution of the 
situation unless they could be assured that the State would 
co-operate with them by enforcing the act. One of the leaders 
said, "What is needed is inspection that inspects. It will 
mean everything to the public, to the fishermen and every man 
in the fish business, big and small." 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 113 



Regulations adopted. 
At a meeting of the Division heads with the Commissioner of 
Conservation on November 18 the proposed regulations were fully 
and carefully considered and adopted in the following form : — 

Regulations under Chapter 351, General Acts of 1919, regulating 
the Sale and Cold Storage of Fresh Food Fish. 

1. All fresh food fish shall be sorted into three grades before it is offered 
for sale or placed in cold storage. 

2. The grades shall consist of what is known to the trade as "new" 
fish, "number two" fish and " splitting" fish. 

3. The first grade shall include only fish that are known to the trade as 
"new" fish. 

4. Designation for first-grade fish shall be "shore fish" or any other 
truthful term. 

5. The second grade shall include fish other than first-grade fish, which 
are in suitable condition to be offered for sale as fresh fish. 

6. Designation for second-grade fish shall be "number two fish," or 
"off-shore fish." 

7. The third grade shall include all fish which are suitable for splitting 
or salting or otherwise preserving, but are not suitable for sale as fresh 
fish. 

8. Nothing in section seven shall be construed as prohibiting the use of 
number one and number two fish for the purposes of splitting, salting or 
otherwise preserving, as is now the custom. 

9. Designation for third-grade fish shall be only "number three fish." 

10. The grades of all fish sold by commission men to wholesalers, re- 
tailers or others, or by commission men or wholesalers to retailers, shall 
be clearly and correctly designated on each receipt or invoice, and said 
receipts or invoices shall be accessible to the Inspector of Fish or his 
deputies on demand. 

11. At the time of sale, or offering or exposing for sale, of "number 
two" fish it shall be clearly stated, or by suitable designation made 
known to the purchaser or intending purchaser, that the fish are "num- 
ber two" or "off-shore fish." 

12. Number two fish which are to be designated other than by word of 
mouth shall be so designated by signs of cardboard or other material 
equally permanent, bearing plainly written or printed letters at least 1 
inch in height. 

13. Only fresh fish graded as number one or number two fish may be 
placed in cold storage. 

14. Fresh food fish placed in cold storage, except those deposited in 
bulk, or in private freezing plants, shall have their containers legibly 
marked with the date of their receipt. 



114 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

15. Fresh food fish, deposited in bulk, shall, on their removal, have the 
containers in which they are packed legibly marked with the month and 
year of receipt. 

16. In all places where fish which have been held in cold storage are 
sold, a sign bearing the words "Cold Storage Fish" must be conspicuously 
displayed. This sign shall be of cardboard or something equally perma- 
nent, with uncondensed Gothic letters at least 2 inches in height. 

17. Fish which have been held in cold storage shall not, in any manner, 
be represented, or sold, or advertised as fresh fish. 

18. Persons purchasing or intending to purchase fish which have been 
in cold storage shall be plainly, notified by the seller that the fish have 
been held in cold storage, either by word of mouth or by plainly printed 
or written signs, with letters at least 1 inch in height, conspicuously 
placed on or in connection with the article so offered for sale. 

19. Cold-storage fish shall not be sold or offered or exposed for sale at 
retail more than forty-eight hours after their receipt by the retailer from 
cold storage unless they are received by the retailer in the frozen state and 
sold frozen to the consumer, except, however, that between November 1 
in one year and March 31 in the succeeding year halibut, salmon, sword- 
fish, steak cod and pollock may be sold or offered or exposed for sale at 
retail during one week after their receipt by the retailer from cold storage, 
and providing they remain in the frozen state until within forty-eight 
hours of the time of sale. 

20. Fish, received for cold storage in this State from any other State or 
country, which have previously been in cold storage in this State, or which 
have been in cold storage in any other State or country for over six months, 
shall not be placed in cold storage until at the time of deposit such fish 
are plainly marked with the date of their original deposit in this Com- 
monwealth or any other State or country. 

21. Every retailer handling cold-storage fish shall secure and preserve 
both a receipt and invoice for each shipment received, showing the nature 
of the goods and time received, and the Inspector of Fish or his deputies 
shall have access to these receipts on demand. 

22. Records shall be kept by each and every cold storage concern show- 
ing the time of receipt of any and all fish in cold storage which have pre- 
viously been in cold storage in this Commonwealth or any other State or 
country for a period exceeding six months, and such records shall be made 
accessible to the Inspector of Fish or his deputies on demand. 

Aims and Need of Fish Inspection. 

The following paragraphs are designed to explain concisely 
the provisions of the act, to point out cases where the law 
is disregarded to the disadvantage of the public, and to em- 
phasize what is hoped to be accomplished by its enforcement : — 

It is elemental that good food preserves and protects the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 115 

health of a nation. It is fundamental that the better the 
condition of a food staple the more of that staple will be 
consumed. The consumption of fish in the United States is 
pitiably low as compared with England and several other 
European nations, and this in spite of the fact that the fishing 
resources of this country are equal to any. Several reasons 
have been presented for this state of affairs. Inadequate and 
slow transportation and poor handling of catch are the two 
most commonly brought forward, but the main reason has 
been generally overlooked, — the failure to supply only good 
fish to the consumer. If the same care were taken with the 
marketing of fish food as with beef and canned products, the 
yield of our farms of the sea, lake and river would now be 
vying for supremacy with land-food commodities instead of 
running back among the unplaced. Beef and canned vegetable 
products are subjected to stringent inspection, and the result, 
from the standpoints of health and increased and increasing 
consumption, is apparent to all. If inspection has done this 
for beef and canned goods, why cannot a proportional measure 
of good results be thus obtained for fresh and salt fish foods? 
It is contended that it can. 

Fish cannot come out of cold storage in any better condition 
than it is put in. The sudden cold blast and freezing of fish 
can work no miracle. Fish in the retail store cannot be strictly 
fresh if it is second or third grade when shipped by the whole- 
saler. Salted fish which was in poor condition when split, 
salted and boxed will not be " Prime Georges " or " Selected 
Bank" when it reaches the table, even though plentifully 
treated with boracic acid and every bone pulled. 

Fish Inspection the Solution. 
Inspection which follows the fish from the time of landing 
on the wharf until wrapped up by the market man is the 
solution of these "poor fish" troubles. Fish inspection that 
actually inspects will mean that the public will have the 
opportunity of buying only good fish. With this accomplished, 
then, and then only, may we look for the per capita consump- 
tion of fish in this country to increase. The new law, designed 
to accomplish this end, combines health, economic and anti- 



116 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

profiteering features, and has to do basically with furnishing 
the public with the opportunity of buying only good fish and 
with knowing exactly what they are buying. 

Three fundamentals have long handicapped the more ex- 
tensive use of fresh and frozen fish, — poor transportation, the 
sale by some dealers of fish of an inferior and at times unfit- 
for-food quality, and the seeming reluctance of a considerable 
portion of the public to grasp the fact that fish is of equal 
food value with meat and much cheaper. 

If the public mind can be educated to understand that in 
buying its fish dinner it is buying only good fresh or frozen 
fish and that the dealer is, under the law, not allowed to 
expose for sale fish unfit for food (as in the past has too often 
been the case), and also that the dealer is obliged by law to 
indicate truthfully to the purchaser what grade and what 
species of fish he is buying, a state of confidence will be set 
up in the minds of the buying public, with the inevitable 
result that fish as a food staple will come into its own. This is 
the groundwork of the act. It should be emphasized that 
this new law imposes no burden. It does, however, protect 
the public and the honest dealer. Because it will lead to 
increased consumption of fish, it will be a direct financial 
benefit to the dealer, and also by reason of some of the pro- 
visions cannot fail, it would seem, to make several lines of 
fish cheaper than at present to the consumer. 

The salient points of the bill, which affects both wholesale 
and retail dealers in fresh and frozen fish, and, in a lesser 
degree, dealers in salt fish, are: — 

All fresh food fish must be divided into three grades before 
being offered for sale or placed in cold storage. The first is to 
be known as "new fish," the second as "off-shore fish," and 
under the law "fish of the third grade shall include all fish 
which are suitable for splitting or salting, but are not suitable 
for sale as fresh fish." Fish of the third grade may not be 
sold at retail for food. This provision of the law, while per- 
fectly proper as far as the enforcement is concerned, is very 
misleading, giving one the idea, as it does, that only fish of 
the third grade are used for splitting or salting or otherwise 
preserving. This, of course, is far from the fact, for fish used 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 117 

for these purposes frequently includes whole trips of the very 
newest fish, and generally fish of the "off-shore" grade. 

Only fish of the first two grades may be placed in cold 
storage or offered for sale at retail for food. 

The law provides for the designations of fish of the various 
grades, and also that only truthful terms shall be used in the 
designation of the fish represented to the consumer. The 
foregoing regulations putting the law into effect are in line 
with the best practices which now obtain in the business. 

How Fish are masqueraded. 

A considerable quantity of fish which appeared to be below 
standard was observed, and also little or no attempt to dis- 
tinguish between the grades has been noted, both as to price 
and quality. This is more noticeable in markets of the cheaper 
class than in others. In many types of market, however, there 
has been seen what may be termed evasion, at least, of truthful 
terms. For instance, the lowly pollock is masqueraded as 
"Boston Bay Blues," and is in some cases baldly and boldly 
labeled "Bluefish." Catfish, because of the .close affinity of 
its designation to the name of the despised dogfish and its own 
none too pleasant personal appearance, appeared nicely skinned 
and steaked, on clean white platters, and temptingly marked 
"Whitefish." Naturally the buyers think it is the whitefish 
of the Great Lakes. In some markets Pacific halibut mas- 
queraded as eastern halibut, and Pacific salmon as eastern 
salmon. There is no question in these two cases as to the 
quality or fitness for food, but the unlawful substitution means 
to the purchaser a difference of from 5 to 10 cents a pound, 
the Pacific fish costing the dealer less in both instances. And 
herein lies the economic value of the new law. These few cases 
are cited merely to show what this law, properly enforced, 
can abolish to the benefit, financial and otherwise, of the 
consumer, and this without detriment in any way to the 
honest dealer. 

Progress already made. 

Already the new law is proving its worth. The campaign 
of education has aroused much interest and has been strongly 
taken up by the press. Many of the leading dealers, particu- 



118 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

larly among the wholesalers, have shown a splendid readiness 
to co-operate. Masquerade titles for fish are being eliminated 
from the weekly price lists of many large concerns. A lesser 
amount of No. 3 grade fish is being handled by the splitters, 
and also the great salt-fish concerns are already planning to 
handle little or no third-grade fish next season. The im- 
portance of this is far-reaching, and its value to the public 
cannot be overestimated. Pollock, properly labeled, are 
appearing in the markets, and recently there was observed in 
the show window of a large retail market, where generally the 
platter of "Whitefish" was wont to appear, a large catfish, 
head, skin, tail and all, calmly reposing on a cake of ice, and 
actually tagged " Catfish." 

In compiling a list of the dealers of the State, the amazing 
fact was disclosed that out of the 354 cities and towns over 
125 had no fish markets, no fish dealers or peddlers from 
other towns; in short, the people of practically one-third of 
the towns of the greatest fresh and salt fish producing State 
of the country were without opportunity of buying fresh fish. 
This astonishing fact was brought to the attention of a gather- 
ing of Boston Fish Pier dealers, and a comprehensive plan to 
remedy this situation is now under consideration. 

A Fisheries College. 

On September 16, at a gathering of representative fish 
dealers assembled to meet Prof. John N. Cobb, Director of 
the College of Fisheries of the University of Washington, the 
initial steps were taken which may result in the establishment 
in Massachusetts of a college of fisheries. 

Professor Cobb, at the request of the gathering, outlined at 
length his work in the Washington university, emphasized the 
value a similar institution would be to Massachusetts and her 
fishing industry, and suggested methods of procedure. 

He defined the purpose of such an institution as not to 
make fishermen, but to turn out fish executives, — men who, 
through gaining a basic knowledge of the many sides of fishing 
and the fish business, would be competent to take charge of 
any large fish concern or any unit thereof. He claimed that a 
young man who can successfully complete such a course is the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 119 

sort of a man that is sorely needed in the fish business world 
to-day, and for whom the big men of the fish world are eagerly 
looking. 

Such a course would require the student to delve deep into 
the scientific as well as the practical things which come up 
daily in the business, and to acquire actual experience on 
fishing vessels, in fish canneries, fish lofts, the counting room, 
etc. He made it plain that, while a fisheries college course 
meant hard work and plenty of it, on its completion the 
graduate could face the world fitted for this work from every 
angle, — to operate a plant; to deal with the big general 
problems of the development of business as a whole; to handle 
the problems of distribution, preservation and storage, and of 
educating the people to eat more fish. In his store of knowledge 
would be the profitable handling of by-products; administration 
of enterprises; the actual catching of fish and preparation of 
it for market, either by the fresh, frozen, canned or cured 
methods; sales methods; merchandising and fish propagation; 
besides the scientific knowledge of fish and fish species gained 
by research work in the laboratory. 

Following a general discussion of Professor Cobb's remarks, 
a volunteer committee was formed to take up immediately the 
work necessary to pave the way for a college of fisheries in 
Massachusetts. The Division of Fisheries and Game is repre- 
sented on the committee by Director Adams and Inspector of 
Fish Millett. 

The committee has been in correspondence with President 
Lowell of Harvard, President Murlin of Boston University 
and Professor Prescott of the department of biology of the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The latter has mapped 
out for the committee tentative plans for a four-year course 
and also for shorter courses for presentation to the Technology 
board of directors. In its efforts to secure the foundation of 
this fisheries school the committee expects to have the en- 
dorsement of not only the general fish industry of the State 
and its allied organizations, but also of the United States 
Bureau of Fisheries and the boards of trade and chambers of 
commerce in the localities where the fishing industry is pros- 
ecuted. 



120 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



The Fish Industry. 

The varying fortunes which various branches of the Massa- 
chusetts fisheries and the fish business of the Commonwealth 
experienced during 1920 have had such an important effect 
upon the business as a whole that this Division has secured from 
acknowledged authorities an expression of opinion as to the 
reasons for conditions in the special lines of the fish industry. 

Letters were addressed to Thomas J. Carroll, general manager 
of the Gorton-Pew Fisheries Company of Gloucester, Gardner 
Poole, president of the Commonwealth Ice and Cold Storage 
Company of Boston, John C. Wheeler of the Bay State Fishing 
Company of Boston Fish Pier, and Irving M. Atwood of the 
Freeman & Cobb Company and Consolidated Weir Company 
of the Boston Fish Pier. From these gentlemen valuable in- 
formation was obtained as to the salted, cured and pickled, 
cold-storage and fresh fish, and trap, weir and freezer ends of 
the industry, and because of their high source these statements 
can be taken as authoritative. 

Speaking of conditions in general and of the salt-fish in- 
dustry in particular, Mr. Carroll writes: — 

Referring to the situation of the salt-fish industry during the past year 
and the offering for the future, I am sure it is unnecessary to state that 
the past year has been a very unprofitable one for the industry. 

As a whole, the cost of producing fish has been mounting during the 
past years without a corresponding increase in the value of the products 
of the fisheries. The cost of vessels, together with the cost of material, 
such as seines, ropes, gear of all kinds, provisions, etc., has increased to 
such an extent during the past few years that it has been almost impossible 
to operate the vessels profitably. Had the price of fish ex-vessel increased 
in proportion, the result would have been different, but with the excep- 
tion of an occasional trip which brought high prices the proceeds of the 
trips have been disappointing. 

The trouble with the fish-packing industry has been largely due to the 
collapse of the export business, brought about largely through the very 
unfavorable situation in foreign exchange. Inasmuch as the export fish 
business has been a very large part of our business, it was a very serious 
thing when this business went down as low as it has during the past year. 
The domestic boneless fish business has been very good considering the 
unfavorable conditions in general business throughout the country. 

The mackerel business last year was a great disappointment. Up to 
the 4th of July the catch was very good, in fact, the best -within recent 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 121 

years, but after the 4th of July it was a complete failure. The halibut 
vessels had a good season, which was due largely to the high prices they 
got for their halibut. Had the price of ground fish increased in proportion 
to the price of halibut the vessels would have had a profitable year. 

While at present conditions in the fish business are not very good to 
say the least, there are some plans that the dealers have in mind that I 
feel will be helpful. 

We have every reason to believe, also, that the cost of operating the 
vessels will be lower the coming year, and that, of course, will help ma- 
terially to put the business on a profitable basis. Another favorable factor 
in the business is the cordial relationship that exists now between the 
owners and the fishermen. 

We find that the men who go in our vessels are anxious to co-operate 
with us in the improvement of the quality of their product. They realize 
as well as we that it is very important that the quality of fish produced be 
as high as it is possible to make it. 

I sincerely believe that with the co-operation of the fishermen who 
man our vessels the business will be put upon a substantial basis so that 
both the men and owners will find it profitable in the years to come. 

As to traps, weirs and freezers, Cape Cod's great end of the 
industry, Mr. Irving M. Atwood writes : — 

Our impression of this year's situation is that the traps did as poor 
work as they have for a number of years and that the same is undoubtedly 
true of the freezers. Most of them were unable to start until late and 
could not get many fish. The fish that they did get were mostly the whit- 
ing, on which at the present time there seems to be little or no market, 
due, in part, to the continued open weather and the large runs of herring 
and blue pike in the Great Lakes, which have shut off considerably on 
our market. This outlines the situation in a general way. 

I will say that we have taken our traps, representing fourteen separate 
bowls or pounds, and we find that up to November 1 the comparative 
stocks are: 1918, 55,367; 1919, 55,001; 1920, 31,976. 

As regards the freezer, we find that for the same three years the number 
of pounds of fish that we have put in the freezer up to November 15 is as 
listed below, which gives a good idea of how poor this year has been 
compared with former years: 1918, 2,245,335; 1919, 1,757,636; 1920 
1,268,474. 

We think that our freezer is typical of general conditions on the Cape. 

Writing as to refrigeration as applied to the fisheries, Mr. 
Poole says: — 

Since 1890 mechanical refrigeration has assumed great importance and 
there is no greater asset in the all-important subject of food conservation 
than refrigeration, and from the precooling plants of the producer to the 



122 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

family refrigerator of the consumer it is a vital necessity in these modern 
times. 

The value of cold storage is particularly noticeable in the fish industry, 
where conditions affecting production tend toward creating immense sur- 
pluses and at times extreme shortages. During the periods of heavy pro- 
duction, except for the fact of cold storage vast quantities of fish would 
go to waste, and without such conservation many varieties of fish that 
are extremely seasonal in character would not be available during times 
of extreme shortage, and a much higher annual level of prices would be 
the result. . 

With the advent of the beam trawler method of fishing a larger and 
more constant production of ground fish is more noticeable, and as this 
supply is available twelve months in the year, the necessity for conserving 
these varieties in cold storage, except in a somewhat limited way, does 
not now exist, and for this reason there is a tendency to divert the surplus 
of this production to canners, salters and smokers. The need, however, 
for conserving in cold storage the surplus production of fish that is seasonal 
in character is increasingly important. The broadening out of the market 
through the introduction of Atlantic coast fish in various western markets 
is stimulating the demand for all kinds of fish, and recent statistics indi- 
cate an increased per capita consumption for the whole country. 

The Bureau of Markets monthly reports of cold-storage holdings in 
the United States furnish valuable data by which we can make some in- 
teresting comparisons. At the period of peak load in 1919 the total hold- 
ings of fresh fish for the country were approximately 76,700,000 pounds, 
and at the same period in 1920 the total holdings were about 62,000,000 
pounds, showing a decrease of 19 per cent. This condition is reflected in 
the New England district, where the percentage of decrease is even more 
marked, and where about 30 per cent of the entire holdings of frozen fish 
in the country are held. 

The reports show a total in storage in New England at peak in 1919 of 
approximately 27,000,000 pounds and the total in the same period of 
1920 approximates 21,000,000 pounds. This decrease is represented al- 
most entirely in the whiting pack on Cape Cod and in the pack of frozen 
herring in the New England district. The pack of the former showed a 
decrease, probably on account of the fact that many of our freezing plants 
on Cape Cod have not been operating and others have been operating 
only on a very limited scale. The decrease in the pack of herring, however, 
is due almost entirely to the shortage in the run of this variety during the 
entire season. 

The pack of all other varieties of seasonal fish' is about normal and 
conditions in the industry appear to be sound; and a feeling of encourage- 
ment and security exists among the trade notwithstanding the fact that 
weather conditions up to the present time have curtailed the shipment of 
these goods from points of production into distributing markets; and also 
a disposition on the part of large purchasers at distributing points to be 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 123 

somewhat overcautious, due probably to rather serious complications which 
have contributed to heavy losses in the industry during the past two years. 
While it is a fact that the trade usually welcomes normal weather 
conditions to assist in the lining up of market conditions, and it would 
perhaps seem that last winter with its extremes and severe weather con- 
ditions would be ideal, there are extremes in both directions; and last 
year in particular, with the heavy snowstorms which demoralized the 
transportation and traffic facilities almost entirely, the producers were 
unable to move their goods up into distributing markets freely during the 
time when they could have been most readily disposed of; and as these 
conditions were prolonged so far toward the end of the season, the prod- 
uct was dammed back, and in many instances a portion of the stocks was 
not moved at all. 

Under the caption "Boston Fresh Fish Market," Mr. Wheeler 
writes : — 

The importance of the fresh-fish industry to Massachusetts and the 
port of Boston is not fully realized by the citizens of the Commonwealth. 

A synopsis of the industry for 1920 brings to light the following inter- 
esting facts : — 

That the receipts of fresh fish landed at Boston for the calendar year 
1920 exceeded any previous year in the history of the industry and gave 
the surprising total of 3,342 arrivals, — 123,402,060 pounds, a gain of 
7,600,000 pounds over the previous record year of 1919. 

The year was notable for continuous operation of fishing vessels, no 
strikes or other causes of interruption as in previous years, except laying 
up due to surplus. 

The decision of the United States Court was put into effect and two 
large holding companies were dissolved into their original units, and it 
speaks well of the industry that these changes took place without undue 
disturbance of business and that no failures occurred in the readjustment. 

The New England Fish Exchange was also reorganized, new by-laws 
adopted and its membership enlarged to include any buyers meeting the 
modified requirements. 

Notwithstanding the large catch the producing and price conditions 
>were most unfavorable during the greater part of the year, due to several 
causes : — 

1. Heavy catches during the summer months, thus producing surpluses 
which drove prices down to pre-war levels. 

2. Lack of demand from salt-fish industry for surpluses during period 
of heavy production, due to heavy stocks and stagnation in that branch 
of the industry. This condition helped to force prices to lower levels. 

3. Heavy increase in expenses for operating all classes of fishing vessels. 
Never in the history of the industry, not excepting war years, have costs 
been so high for all items making up expenses for fishing vessels. 



124 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

4. The labor awards affecting the steam trawler fleet, granting wages 
greatly in excess of previous wages, went into effect March 1, 1920, and, 
together with the high price of coal, ice, food, nets, repairs, practically 
caused the trawler fleet to tie up for the summer as market prices were 
below the cost of production. 

5. The schooner fleet which produce upwards of 50 per cent of the total 
catch were not affected by the award of wages and continued as of old 
on a share lay, and therefore w T ere better able to continue with the condi- 
tions existing. 

6. An important factor not to be overlooked was the advent on Jan. 
4, 1920, of a large producing company operating from T Wharf, and as 
this company was capable of great production, but had not established or 
opened new markets of distribution, its operations had a marked influence 
on the price situation in large distributive centers and operated as a great 
detriment to the old-established concerns at South Boston. The unsta- 
bility of the organization was demonstrated when on Dec. 1, 1920, it 
passed into the hands of receivers and T Wharf was closed. The opera- 
tions of this company also had a direct influence on the salt-fish industry, 
causing overproduction, glutted markets, etc. 

With the coming of the fall and winter months the trawler fleet grad- 
ually increased operations, and, on December 30, 17 trawlers were operat- 
ing from the port of Boston, with the schooner fleet greatly reduced, as is 
customary each year in the winter season. 

The members of the industry — hard-working, optimistic — approach 
the new year with the feeling that the turning point was passed in 1920, 
and with deflation in expenses and supplies, — coal, oil, ice, and to some 
extent cheaper labor, — and with more stable prices, due to probably 
lesser production, that they may be rewarded with at least the reasonable 
profit to which the marketing of a super-perishable article should entitle 
them for 1921. 

The Deep-sea Fisheries. 

The fortunes of the fleets engaged in the various branches of 
fishing varied. Taken as a whole the catch of Massachusetts 
crafts will vary considerably from the total of 1919, and 
because of average lower prices, the financial returns to the 
fishermen and fish dealers will be less. 

Fresh Fishing or Haddock Fleet. — The fresh fishing or 
"haddock" fleet had a good winter and a rather poor summer, 
but in the fall started to do well again, the better demand 
for fresh fish making a widened market and better prices to 
the fishermen. Although the winter of 1919-20 was un- 
usually severe, with a succession of heavy storms, and weeks 
on end it was impossible to set a trawl, the hardy haddockers 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 125 

took all kinds of chances to earn the big money which awaited 
their trips, with the result that their landings up to April 2 
actually exceeded the record of the fleet for the previous 
winter. After this the catches fell off so that the previous 
season's record was not again touched until the middle of 
July, when it was gradually passed, until on August 20 this 
year's figures were a full 10,000,000 pounds to the good. The 
great gain was made from July 4 to August 20, the time when 
last year the whole fleet was tied up by the fishermen's strike. 
The figures are interesting as showing the loss to the fleet by 
the strike. Had the whole fleet been operating this summer 
the variance of the catch would have been greater, but it was 
minus the services of the great bulk of the steam trawler 
fleet, which, even with capacity fares, could not operate and 
pay expenses, owing to high cost of repairs, replacement of 
gear and running parts, and wages of officers and men as 
compared with reduced prices received for their fish. All the 
Gloucester steam trawlers, with one exception, were hauled 
up, one-half of a big Boston fleet likewise, several independent 
crafts hauled off, and of the largest fleet of all, some 22 crafts, 
only two or three were kept in commission. Had this whole 
great fleet been in operation all the summer and fall, the fresh- 
fish catch of 1920 would have reached unheard-of heights. As 
it was, the summer for the crafts which tended market at the 
pier was nothing to enthuse over; indeed, seldom has the fresh- 
fish business endured a duller spell, and this, of course, was 
reflected in the returns to the fishermen. So taking a good 
winter with a poor summer season the haddocking year at best 
can only be called an average one. 

Swordfishing Fleet. — An example of great prosperity is 
furnished by the record of the swordfishing fleet. It was only 
a few years ago that but few people could be induced to eat 
swordfish, and consequently few found their way to market. 
Gradually the change has come, until to-day, even with a large 
fleet in operation, it is almost impossible for the receipts to 
keep pace with the demand. The fleet this year was the 
largest ever, numbering about 50 sail running to the fish pier 
and as many more smaller crafts landing at other Massa- 
chusetts ports, and the catch is without doubt the largest in 



126 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

the history of the business; yet with all the large receipts 
there was but one day at the Boston Fish Pier when there 
was really a "glut" of these fish. The season opened on 
June 29 when schooner "Lafayette," Capt. Joseph Mello, 
arrived at the Boston Fish Pier with the first fare of the 
season, 57 fish, which sold at 30 cents a pound. From this 
time on through the summer and early fall a steady stream 
of crafts to the fish pier from Georges brought in good fares. 
Some idea of the amount can be gleaned from the statement 
that for the week ending August 5 the receipts of swordfish at 
the Boston Fish Pier numbered 2,843 fish, the record up to 
this time. To give an idea of the money made by the sword 
fishermen, we mention that schooner "Ethel Marian" of 
Edgartown arrived at the Boston Fish Pier, September 7, 
hailing for 89 swordfish, on which the stock of $5,770 was 
realized and each of the crew shared $605.60 clear for their 
two weeks' work. October 1 found the fleet all home and 
the season over, the late arrivals bringing small fares which 
brought very high prices. 

Salt Bank Codfishery. — With but half a dozen vessels out 
of Gloucester and none out of Boston or Provincetown engaged 
in the salt bank codfishery, including both trawl and dory 
handline crafts, this once greatest staple branch of the fisheries 
seems but a memory. For several years past the fleet has been 
dwindling, and, with the gradual trend toward fresh fish and 
the broadening of the markets for the latter, vessels have 
gradually been withdrawn from the branch once known as the 
"backbone of the fisheries," until now a salt banker is almost 
a curiosity. This year the vessels of this fleet did pretty well 
on their first trips, but the second trips were not up to the 
average. The price, too, showed a drop from war figures, so 
with possibly one or two exceptions the season was not espe- 
cially remunerative. 

The Shacking Fleet. — The "shacking" fleet, comprising 
many of the large vessels of the winter haddock fleet of Boston 
and Gloucester, which, beginning in the late spring and con- 
tinuing until early fall, fishes on the banks to the eastward of 
the sixty-sixth parallel of longitude, generally coming home 
with capacity fares of lightly iced fish intended for the splitting 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 127 

and salt-fish concerns, enjoyed a good season; indeed, it is 
figured that they landed more fish than in the prosperous 
season of 1919. True, prices as a whole did not hold up with 
last season, but large fares were the rule, and even the lowered 
prices were above the average of past years, so that, all in all, 
the returns were good. 

In the main the operations of this fleet were confined to 
Western and Sable Island banks where good fishing was 
found generally throughout the summer months. Some of the 
crafts during the latter part of the season carried some salt 
besides their ice, thus salting their early catches and icing the 
last week's fishing. 

Salt or Flitched Halibut Fishery. — None of the fleet engaged 
in the salt, or flitched halibut fishery the past season, two 
years thus passing without a craft in this branch of the in- 
dustry. A voyage of this nature is quite a venturesome one, 
the fishing grounds being located off Labrador, Greenland and 
Iceland. The demand for smoked halibut is large, and there is 
some talk of a vessel going at this line of business next season. 

Fresh Halibut Fleet. — The fresh halibut fleet has enjoyed 
another big season, equaling or exceeding the phenomenal year 
of 1919 as to catches and financial returns. In this con- 
nection should be noted what seems to indicate the passing of 
Gloucester as a fresh halibut market port. For many years 
this port was the one market for fresh halibut, and some years 
ago when the vessels first resorted to the Funks and Bacaliew 
bank off the upper Newfoundland and Labrador coasts for 
halibut, one morning alone found nearly 1,000,000 pounds 
awaiting market in the holds of vessels that had arrived over- 
night. In these days, when 2,000,000 pounds would be con- 
sidered a large year's work for the whole halibut fleet and 
the total year's landings at Gloucester the present year are 
only 160,392 pounds, while Boston is credited with 2,482,266 
pounds, it is easy to see the great change that has come over 
this branch of the fishery and how Boston has absorbed the 
preponderance of the catch. Again, on the big halibut day at 
Gloucester above mentioned, from 3 to 5 cents a pound was the 
usual price for Funks fish, some even going to split, while this year 
the average price per pound for all halibut landed will go better 



128 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

than 20 cents per pound. Comparisons like this bring a reali- 
zation of the changes that are constantly going on in the 
fisheries and the fishing business. It is to be noted that while 
the bulk of the halibut were taken on Georges and Brown's 
banks, a goodly number of fine fares were secured on the banks 
to the eastward, all the way along from Western to Grand 
Bank, including trips from Quero, The Gully, Green and St. 
Pierre banks. Last year practically the whole catch was 
taken on Georges. This is considered a hopeful sign by the 
skippers that halibut are increasing and are returning to many 
of their old and favorite habitats. The fleet this year was of 
good size, and with vessels fishing on the several banks it 
gave the captains a better chance to keep run of the move- 
ments of the fish than if all were fishing on Georges, and may 
encourage some to continue all winter instead of hauling up in 
November and starting again in March as has been the general 
custom now for several years. 

The Gill Netting Fleet. — The gill netting fleet, comprising 
some 35 sail of little steam and gasoline propelled craft operat- 
ing daily trips out of Gloucester, their catches being shipped to 
Boston by steamer or motor truck in time for the opening of 
the next day's market, did not share in the prosperity of some 
of the fleets engaged in other lines of fishing. The almost 
continuous succession of winter storms which swept the coast 
hindered them greatly, and fish were scarce, the shore schools 
of pollock and haddock failing to materialize. Consequently 
many hauled out early. During the summer most of the 
larger crafts of the fleet engaged in mackerel seining, but as 
these fish were scarce on the shore grounds, their catches were 
not large as a whole, though individual crafts did well. Then, 
too, the spring and summer schools of herring, shad and 
bluebacks failed to appear in any quantity and thus their 
opportunity for making a paying season in this direction was 
spoiled. In October the fleet began to fit out again with their 
gill nets, expecting and hoping for the pollock to come along 
in the usual large quantities as in 1918, but up to this writing 
the catches have not been as large as hoped for. 

Small Craft. — The story of the small boat fleet, including 
the Italian motor-powered fleet of Boston and Gloucester, — the 






1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 129 

latter together numbering fully 100 crafts and manned by 
indefatigable fishermen, from two to four to a boat, — is on a 
par with the story of the gill netters — a poor season, and for 
the same reason — bad weather during the larger part of the 
winter and a lack of both school and ground fish on the shore 
fishing spots during the remainder of the season. 

The Flounder Fishery. — The flounder draggers, numbering 
fully 50 sail, which operate during the winter months off 
Gloucester and Cape Cod, the major part landing their catches 
at ports at the latter place, had a good season. The Gloucester 
landings, which were small compared with the Cape Cod 
catches, were shipped to the Boston market, while the bulk 
of the Cape Cod receipts were marketed at Fulton Market, 
New York. 

The Mackerel Fishery. — The vagaries and uncertainties of fish- 
ing were never better illustrated than by the mackerel season 
of 1920. It opened poorly out south, the fleet being hampered 
by bad weather and light nights at the start; then took a 
spurt of unusual dimensions just before the vessels were ready 
to leave for the Cape Shore and ran up a total catch not ex- 
ceeded in recent years, at least in the southern fishery. Then, 
when hopes seemed brightest on the Cape Shore, "the backbone 
of the season" as it is often called, this fishery showed only 50 
per cent of last year's catch and made the smallest catch returns 
since 1916. The season's total catch was then, however, well 
ahead of last year, but the brilliant promise of late May and 
June failed of fulfillment. However, to retrace a bit, the fleet 
of netters that went south after the seining fleet, had been doing 
extraordinarily well, and some of the seiners which did not go to 
the Cape Shore had continued to land catches from the schools 
to the southward, so that as soon as any of the vessels arrived 
home from the Cape Shore they hustled out to the fishing ground 
to the southward of No Man's Land, Block Island and South 
Shoal lightship and here revelled in plenty of fish until the 
middle of July, when suddenly the fish disappeared. 

The late southern spurt, from May 14 to 28, had netted 
20,000 barrels, while the spurt following Cape Shore (the fish 
being taken in the same locality, from the southward of 
Block Island to the South Shoal lightship) registered 29,000 



130 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

barrels in three weeks, from June 18 to July 9, and then in 
another week the fish disappeared and the fleet were scurrying 
hither and thither attempting to locate them. It is well to 
note here that in a fishing season of almost seven months, 
during which time the fresh mackerel catch was approximately 
79,000 barrels, that 49,000 barrels, or over half the catch, 
were taken inside of five weeks and all in the same locality, 
from the southward of Block Island and No Man's Land to 
South Shoal lightship. There could be no better example of 
the "lottery" of the fishing business. 

The mackerel season was so unusual as to demand some 
definite record of its progress. It opened with the report 
brought into Lewes, Delaware breakwater, March 30, by a 
pilot boat, of two schools seen that day off Cape Henlopen, 
followed by the catching next day of the first mackerel of the 
season in a trap at Chincoteague, Va. 

The Gloucester and Boston fleets began to fit out, and the 
advance guard, schooner "Squanto," sailed from the former 
port on April 7, followed the next day by seven more of the 
fleet. Others got away daily, until inside of two weeks prac- 
tically the whole fleet of about 30 sail were searching the 
southern grounds for fish as far south as the capes of Virginia. 

The coveted honor of landing the first trip went to Capt. 
Ralph Webber in schooner "Stiletto," which put in at Cape 
May, April 16 (five days ahead of the earliest arrival of 1919), 
with 24 barrels (3,600 pounds) of large size fresh mackerel, 
caught in 35 fathoms of water off Winter Quarter lightship. 
The fish sold readily at Fulton Market at from 50 to 65 cents 
per pound. From then on the seiners met with indifferent 
success, while the story of the netting fleet, which got into 
action early in May, was one of great prosperity throughout 
its season into June. 

Up to May 21 the mackerel fleet as a whole had landed but 
7,000 barrels of fresh fish at New York and Newport, R. I., 
against 14,000 barrels for the same period of 1919. The 
seiners had become divided into two fleets, — one far to the 
southward, and the other well up the coast, — both working on 
fish which were wild and hard to catch. Then, too, the 
seiners were hampered by a long spell of stormy weather and 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 131 

light nights, which latter condition of course worked greatly 
to the advantage of the netting fleet. 

After May 14 came the big strike to the southward of 
Block Island, which turned a failure into the biggest southern 
success in recent years. This was followed by the rather in- 
different trip to the Cape Shore, but the latter was forgotten 
when the fleet on arrival immediately fared south again and 
struck on the fish schools they had left a month previous and 
which had spread out now to include the South Shoal lightship 
ground. Soon the whole fleet congregated on the latter ground, 
and there another school of fish put in appearance — small and 
medium fish averaging 2 pounds — thought by many of the 
skippers to be the body of fish which some of the fleet were 
working on far to the southward during the early part of the 
southern season. 

Here, then, for three weeks the fleet did unusually well. 
So many and so frequent were the trips that the fleet divided 
in landing, some going to Boston, others to Newport and New 
Bedford, and some even ran to New York. By July 9 this 
grand spurt was practically over, but so great had been the 
returns that, despite the fact that the fresh Cape Shore catch 
had been but half that of last year, the total was 66,345 barrels 
against 38,995 barrels up to the same date of 1919. Veteran 
fishermen called this Block Island-South Shoal spurt the 
greatest on record; and with this splendid start, as shown by 
figures, big stocks and shares, small wonder that everybody 
was looking for the season 1920 to be a record breaker. 

But here the scene changed, for inside of a week the fleet 
was spread out in every direction hunting for fish; and there- 
after to the end of the season, in November, the weekly catches, 
instead of being figured in thousands and tens, of thousands of 
barrels, were figured by hundreds and in some cases almost by 
the figure zero. 

A few fish were found after this on Georges, but there was 
no body to the schools. The situation became so discouraging 
that the aid of the United States Bureau of Fisheries was 
sought, and that bureau, about the middle of August, sent out 
its steamer " Halcyon," in charge of a competent mackerel 
skipper, Capt. Elroy Prior, to attempt to locate the missing 



132 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



schools. The craft made a big swing around the circle, taking 
in the southern and shore grounds, Georges, Bay of Fundy and 
the western end of the Cape Shore, but returned early in 
September with the discouraging report of no schools located. 

Late in August and early in September some schools were 
taken off Chatham, but here, too, the fishing quickly played out. 
A little later some schools of small fish were taken on Georges, 
followed by a few catches off Race Point, and while small hauls 
continued to be made off Chatham, the fleet, as a whole, was 
doing practically nothing but chasing reports and thoroughly 
searching every well-known mackerel fishing ground in vain. 

Early in October mackerel were reported schooling on the 
Cape Shore, and some of the fleet hustled down there. They 
met with blowy weather, though some fish were seen, and a 
few trips were secured, taken off the eastern end of the Cape 
Shore and also off Liverpool, and landed fresh in Boston. Late 
in October the netters or "draggers" operating out of Glouces- 
ter and Rockport started operations, fishing off Thatchers and 
on Middle Bank, and met with fair success, continuing oper- 
ations up to the last of November with no signs even then 
of abatement. The seven seiners which had been operating 
on the Cape Shore arrived home before that and hauled up; 
and the mackerel season of 1920, which at one time early 
in the season gave promise of breaking all records, ended in a 
disappointing manner, although the catch of 1919 was left 
some 24,000 barrels behind on fresh fish, the latter season, 
however, being 2,000 barrels ahead on salted mackerel. 

Nothing could better illustrate the uncertainties of fishing 
than this story of the doings of the mackerel fleet of the 
season of 1920. 

The Massachusetts catches of fresh and salted mackerel 
from Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920, inclusive, and for the 
corresponding period of the previous year, were as follows : — 



Dec. 1, 1919, to 
Nov. 30, 1920. 



Dec. 1, 1918, to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 



Salt mackerel (barrels), 

Fresh mackerel (barrels), 

Totals (barrels), 



4,897 
79,799 



84,696 



7,007 
55,375 



62,382 



1920.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



133 



Cape Shore Catches of Mackerel for Five Years. 



Year. 


Arrivals. 


Fresh Mackerel 
(Pounds). 


Salt Mackerel 
(Barrels). 


1920 

1919, 

1918 

1917 

1916 


30 
32 
38 
32 

24 


1,290,000 
2,119,000 
1,689,000 
2,229,000 
1,161,000 


3,217 
6,275 
7,558 
7,131 
3,718 



Cape Cod Fishery Activities. 

The Cape Cod fisheries for 1920 were, with few exceptions, 
unsatisfactory as compared with recent years. At Province- 
town the larger fleet of small auxiliary powered craft that 
make daily trips did poorly all summer. The larger fleet, 
some 40 sail, of flounder draggers that makes Hyannisport 
its headquarters had a good season both before and after 
the midwinter freeze-up. 

The catches of the traps and weirs along the shore were the 
smallest for several years. Prices of gear and twine were very 
high, and it is doubtful if many paid expenses. The run of 
whiting and herring was not large, in fact catches were poor 
the whole season. Few squid were taken, and the freezers 
fared accordingly. On the date to which this report is made 
(November 30), it was estimated that the Provincetown freezers 
are from one-half to three-quarters full on the average, mostly 
herring and whiting; the Chatham freezer had stored but 1,500 
barrels of whiting, while the Yarmouth freezer was closed. The 
Sandwich freezer was reported about full of whiting and herring. 



Boston Fishery Activities. 
While the report for Boston for the fish year shows the 
largest landing of fresh fish in its history, yet despite this 
splendid showing of catch the year has been anything but 
satisfactory to the owners of vessels and fish producers on 
the Boston Pier, for the reason that many times it has been 
necessary to sell the fresh products, in order to move them to 
the various markets of this State and outside of the States at 
a figure really less than it cost to produce the fish. 



134 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



The following table will give in detail the catch for the port 
of Boston for the year (Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920): — 

Large codfish (10 pounds and over), 19,394,030 

Market cod (those under 10 and over 2\ pounds), . . 11,987,845 

Cod scrod (those weighing 1 to 2\ pounds), .... 160,363 

Haddock (over 2\ pounds), 64,813,008 

Haddock scrod (1 to 2\ pounds), 48,166 

Large hake (6 pounds and over), 694,176 

Small hake (under 6 pounds), 1,647,788 

Pollock, 2,973,941 

Cusk, 617,198 

Halibut, 2,482,266 

Fresh large mackerel (over 2\ pounds), 4,505,025 

Fresh medium mackerel (1J to 2} pounds), .... 1,312,837 

Fresh small mackerel (under 1^ pounds), .... 339,738 
Miscellaneous (butterfish, catfish, flounders, redfish, shad, 

smelt, herring, sturgeon, etc.), 6,912,413 

Total, 117,888,794 

In connection with this it might be interesting to note the 
table for the previous two years. While giving the totals in 
each line, it does not give the catch in each especial size of 
fish landed as explicitly as does the one for this year. Never- 
theless it will be found of great value for comparison : — 





Dec. 1, 1918, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 


Jan. 1, 1918, 

to Nov. 30, 

1918 (Eleven 

Months). 


Codfish 

Haddock, 

Hake 

Pollock 

Cusk 

Halibut 

Mackerel, 

Miscellaneous 


32,265,992 
61,504,416 
2,860,160 
3,846,345 
795,646 
1,353,704 
4,000,513 
4,559,830 


36,457,622 

47,752,660 

2,330,643 

4,130,341 

981,665 

734,992 

6,412,715 

4,840,002 


Totals 


111,186,606 


103,640,640 



The figures for the preceding tables are furnished, as in 
previous years, by Mr. F. F. Dimick, secretary of the Boston 
Fish Bureau. In sizing up the situation of the Boston fish 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 135 

year Mr. Dimick, an undoubted authority in this matter, 
sa/s : — 

The production of ground fish has been large, but the year has been 
unsatisfactory to the producers as much of the time the fish sold at a 
price less than the cost of production. Mackerel, swordfish and halibut 
have been in good demand and they sold at good prices, and those branches 
of fishing have been fairly profitable. The receipts of fish from the out- 
ports as a rule were unsatisfactory. 

It will be noted in the table for 1920 that distinction is 
made between large and smaller fish. These figures are cited 
to show how relatively small is the amount of small or im- 
mature fish landed by the vessels of the fish fleet. 

The Gloucester Fisheries. 

The fish receipts at Gloucester during 1920 reached a very 
low ebb, and it is safe to assert that not for a quarter century 
and probably even a longer period have the actual landings of 
fish at this port reached such a low level as the statistics for 
the past year reveal. 

The receipts of fish at Gloucester from all sources show a 
total of 77,977,515 pounds as against 133,638,765 pounds for 
1919. In other words, the 1920 receipts were but 58 per cent 
of the 1919 total, an amazing decline w r hen considered in con- 
nection with the increased receipts of fresh fish at Boston, 
which port had its banner catch year. 

The great decrease in receipts of fish by rail, mostly from 
the Canadian maritime province, and in the bringing in of 
fish not the product of the American fisheries by vessels 
from Canadian and Newfoundland ports (together aggregating 
nearly 27,000,000 pounds of salted and pickled fish), accounts 
for the major portion of the total drop, and also reflects the 
state of the salt-fish trade, which w r as severely affected by the 
collapse of the export business, due to the unusual situation in 
foreign exchange. For several years the exporting of cured 
fish has been one of the most prominent factors in the salt- 
fish business, and its decline materially affected the arrivals 
of fish here from Canadian and Newfoundland sources. 

Receipts of haddock this year reached a normal level in 
comparison with the unusually large amount landed in 1919. 



136 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Pollock showed a large shortage on account of the light catch 
of the gill net fleet, the run of these fish in the fall and early 
winter being much smaller than usual. Because of the slump 
in the mackerel fishery after July 4, the receipts of salt mackerel 
were about half of those of 1919. The decline of the New- 
foundland herring fishery as prosecuted by Massachusetts 
vessels is shown in the greatly reduced receipts of salt herring 
and the absence of arrival of crafts with frozen herring. 

The following comparative table gives the receipts from all 
sources at this port for the past three years : — 





Dec. 1, 1919, to 
Nov. 30, 1920. 


Dec. 1, 1918, to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 


Jan. 1, 1918, 

to Nov. 30, 

1918 (Eleven 

Months). 


Salt cod, . 


2,987,751 


3,004,673 


4,449,825 


Fresh cod, 


25,835,345 


28,087,981 


27,977,652 


Halibut, . 


160,392 


306,570 


610,123 


Haddock, 


8,473,534 


16,127,331 


8,568,578 


Hake, 


1,480,557 


779,840 


581,222 


Cusk, 


575,399 


779,972 


627,016 


Pollock, . 


5,117,982 


18,524,658 


16,154,131 


Flitches, . 


5,365 


8,476 


6,535 


Not product of 


American fisheries, 14,694,475 


25,733,450 


27,073,565 




59,330,800 


93,352,953 


86,048,647 


Fresh mackerel 


Pounds. 
420,542 


Pounds. 
302,188 


Pounds. 
1,885,122 


Salt mackerel, 


Barrels. 
3,988 


Barrels. 

7,457^ 


Barrels. 
12,000 


Fresh herring, 


Pounds. 
842,500 


Pounds. 
1,777,844 


Pounds. 
11,204,480 


Salt herring, 


Barrels. 
13,859 


Barrels. 
32,231 


Barrels. 
39,927 


Frozen herring 





- 


Pounds. 
187,205 


Cured fish, 


Quintals. 
9,803 


Quintals. 
12,265 


Quintals. 
20,037 


Miscellaneous 
Small boats (es 


Pounds, 
timated), .... 2,000,000 


Pounds. 
5,000,000 


Pounds. 
7,000,000 


By rail, 


. ' 7,888,949 


23,410,979 


22,870,000 


Flounders, 


200,000 


200,000 


- 



Summary. 
Total, 1918 (to November 30), .... 

Total, Dec. 1, 1918, to Nov. 30, 1919, 

Total, Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920, 



Pounds. 
143,442,954 

133,638,765 

77,977,515 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 137 

The Lobster Fishery. 

The lobster fishing season opened very poorly, with a spring 
catch unusually small, and closed with a late fall catch all 
along the shore unusually gratifying both from its large pro- 
portions and from the great number of large lobsters taken, 
ranging from 2 to 5 pounds. The fall season also brought 
reports from the fishermen of more undersized lobsters seen 
than for a long term of years. Very high prices (the highest 
ever, according to the fishermen) were sustained throughout 
the season. Although it was feared the shortage of the catch 
during the spring and through the shedding term would 
result in a greatly decreased catch for the season, it turned 
out that the months of September, October and November 
produced results far above the average, and, indeed, exceptional 
in recent years, with the result that despite the poor start and 
threat of a most disastrous year, the total catch for the season 
actually exceeded that of 1919 both in number of catch and 
value at first hand. Statistics of the catch are published in 
the Appendix. 

It is significant, too, that while the catch was larger, the 
value more, the number of men, boats and pots engaged 
somewhat larger than the previous year, showing that the 
industry was most intensively prosecuted, the fishermen 
report the greatest number of shorts thrown back in the 
water and also the largest number of lobsters of about 5 
inches in length seen on the fishing spots for many years. 
These two latter conditions, in spite of markedly increased 
fishing the past ten years, while not enough to build an opti- 
mistic expression of opinion upon, yet do tend to show some 
slight improvement in the general lobster conditions along the 
Massachusetts coast. 

Incidentally it is interesting to note that the Massachusetts 
catch of lobsters for 1920 is the largest, with one exception 
(1909), since the 9-inch legal length law went into effect in 1907, 
and also the largest, with the same exception (1909), of any 
year since 1891. 

The most important legislation respecting the lobster fishery 
during the year was the restriction of the right to fish for 
lobsters to citizens of the State. Hitherto aliens, unwilling to 



138 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

assume the obligations of citizenship, had reaped equal benefits 
with the citizens in making a livelihood in this industry. 

As required by chapter 434, Acts of 1920, it is herewith 
reported that the number of lobster licenses issued in 1920 
was 914. 

The Division has continued its policy of distributing, in the 
waters of those districts where the lobstermen show a dis- 
position to help themselves by observing the lobster laws, the 
short and seed lobsters seized from the shipments of live 
lobsters from Nova Scotia to Boston during the three months 
of open season in the southwestern section of that province. 
The number thus seized and distributed, in lots of from 700 
to 1,000, numbered 12,650, as against 18,000 in 1919, 8,000 in 
1918, and 37,000 in 1917. In addition to this a comparatively 
small number of egg-bearing lobsters, bought as usual from 
the Boston dealers, were liberated. 

During the year, under supervision of one of the wardens, 
approximately 4,500 short lobsters, obtained from the fishermen 
in the locality, were deposited in Menemsha Pond on Marthas 
Vineyard to determine whether or not they will remain in the 
brackish pond and furnish a winter supply of lobsters. 

About the middle of January the Director of the Division 
and the wholesale lobster dealers of Boston were apprised 
from unofficial sources of a bill, House, No. 4871, introduced 
in the national House of Representatives, to be heard on 
January 22 before the House committee of merchant marine 
and fisheries, which on its face appeared to threaten very 
seriously to affect the business of the Boston dealers in the 
importation of Nova Scotia lobsters and the shipment of the 
same over the country. The bill, which threatened to affect 
the whole lobster industry of all New England, New York 
and Nova Scotia, had for its object the closing of all ports of 
the United States to the landing of lobsters under 10| inches 
caught outside the territorial waters of the United States. 
Great opposition to this measure sprung up on all sides. A 
resolution offered by Representative George F. Murphy of 
East Boston was adopted in the Legislature, opposing the 
measure. The objections from the Commonwealth were pre- 
sented by Congressman Lufkin. As a result of this defensive 
action the bill was not reported out of committee. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 139 



Alewives. 
Fishery. — The 1920 run was slightly better than the average. 
Certain streams, such as the Mattapoisett River, gave the 
first appreciably large yield in several years, while in pre- 
viously good streams, as at Bournedale, the yield was con- 
siderably below normal. Taken as a whole, the production 
was fairly satisfactory, and with prevailing high prices afforded 
a fairly lucrative business. The prices received upon sale of 
fishing rights give an approximate idea of the annual value of 
streams in cases where the privileges are sold each year, but 
are deceiving where longer leases are in vogue. The 1920 sale 
prices for certain streams where fishing or seining rights were 
sold are given below. The fisheries of many streams were not 
sold. 

Agawam River, $11,000 00 

Bass River, 95 25 

Herring River, Harwich, 1,900 00 

Mattapoisett River, 105 00 

Mill Pond Brook, Brewster, 160 00 

Taunton River, 181 00 

Town Brook, Plymouth, 1,100 00 

As an illustration of the ease with which a stream responds 
to ordinary care and business judgment, in 1917 the Matta- 
poisett River privilege, badly run down, was bought by Mr. 
George M. Besse of Wareham for $105 per year. No fish 
were taken in 1917, 1918 and 1919, the entire run being per- 
mitted to reach the spawning grounds, with the result that 
from March 20 to May 19, 1920, 2,250 barrels were caught, 
and as many more allowed to pass to the spawning grounds. 

Industry. — As usual the greater part of the catch was 
salted, many barrels going to the West Indies. On May 10, 
1920, two carloads were shipped from Marthas Vineyard to 
Provincetown for cold storage. A smaller number were sold 
fresh and for local consumption. Prices ranged from $6 to S8 
per barrel. 

In the spring of 1919 it became known that at some of the 
Cape Cod alewife fisheries men were engaged in stripping 
the bright scales from the underbodies of the alewives and 



140 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

selling them to a party in Hyannis at the reported price of 
from 50 cents to $1 per pound, and even more. Though for a 
long time the eventual market and the use made of the scales 
was kept secret, it is now known that they are used in the 
manufacture of artificial pearls. The high value of the product 
is evidenced by the great increase in the sale price of the Aga- 
wam River fishing privilege, from $1,255 in 1919 to $11,000 
in 1920, and to the fact that a 125-pound keg of scales was 
insured, when shipped by express, for $900. The new business 
has continued through 1919 and 1920. Thus the alewives bring 
a double revenue, — from the sale of the scales and from the 
sale of the stripped fish for food and bait. This new business 
provides an additional argument for the reconstruction and 
development of the depleted alewife streams, a project which 
has been repeatedly recommended by this Division. 

Investigations. — A report upon the alewife fishery has been 
published, making specific recommendations for the restoration 
of the fishery. The investigations during 1920 have been 
confined to (1) examination of obstructions on certain streams, 
(2) inspection of fishways, (3) observations on the spawning 
habits and artificial hatching, and (4) experiments in trans- 
planting. 

(1) Obstructions. — Herring River, Wellfleet, and Childs 
River, Falmouth, were examined for obstructions. The im- 
passable sluice on Herring River was removed by the local 
authorities on recommendation of this Division. The fishway 
on Childs River, at Waquoit village, was found closed, but an 
agreement was made by which alewives will be given an un- 
obstructed passage up the main stream, thereby eliminating 
the necessity of using this fishway. 

(2) Fishways. — An inspection of all the fishways on every 
important alewife stream was made in May by a representative 
of this Division, to ascertain their condition. 

(3) Artificial Hatching. — Observations were made upon the 
fish in the streams, and on the spawning beds, as regards the 
ratio of males to females, and the per cent of ripe males and 
females present in schools at various dates. The artificial 
hatching proved a failure, owing to inability to obtain a 
sufficient quantity of mature females. The eggs while the 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 141 

fish are passing up stream are for the most part green, and do 
not ripen until the spawning grounds are reached. It has 
not been found possible to hold alewives in small enclosures 
until their eggs reach the proper stage for stripping. 

(4) Transplanting. — Various experiments were made with 
the idea of ascertaining the most satisfactory method of 
transplanting mature alewives, special attention being given 
to their reaction to the factors of distance, time, aeration, 
temperature and number per can. In May, 1,230 alewives 
were carried from the Bournedale stream to Long Pond, Plym- 
outh, in order that their offspring might provide a source of 
food for the Chinook salmon present therein, the supply of 
landlocked smelt which had provided their food in previous 
years having become exhausted. Difficulty was experienced 
in transporting the alewives, as they are extremely susceptible 
to injury through handling. 

Death of Herring at Cohasset. — An unfortunate occurrence 
took place at Cohasset in October, when 50,000 barrels of 
young herring, with smaller numbers of other species, were 
stranded on the shore and perished. So great was the destruc- 
tion that the shores and flats of the vicinity were white with 
dead fish and a public nuisance was caused by their disinte- 
gration. The first loss occurred on October 3, when a large 
school of 4 to 5 inch sea herring became stranded on the 
evening tide, thickly covering the entire head of the harbor, 
especially the coves, where they were piled several layers deep. 
Estimates placed the destruction at 20,000 barrels. They soon 
decayed, causing in the upper end of the harbor, where there 
was little circulation, a body of badly polluted water in which 
it was impossible for fish to survive. 

A second but smaller run occurred October 10, and was 
followed by small runs of fish, so that the process became 
almost continuous, the newcomers dying in the polluted water 
at the head of the harbor. A second large run occurred on 
October 15, causing conditions resembling the first, with ap- 
proximately the same loss. About 10 per cent of the first and 
5 per cent of the second large run were adult sea herring. A 
few tinker mackerel and whiting and a large number of smelt 
were also destroved. 



142 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

At this time of year large schools of small herring are found 
off the coast, and doubtless the first catastrophe was due to 
one of these being driven well into the bay by reason of being 
rushed by larger fish. The frenzied rush of the smaller species 
in attempting to escape their pursuers, caught as they were 
in a blind pocket, together with a high course tide, resulted in 
their becoming stranded between the tide lines. Their decom- 
position brought about the foul condition of water which 
proved a death trap for the subsequent arrivals, resulting in an 
almost continuous process. As going to prove this, it was im- 
possible to keep lobsters alive in cars in this water; the dead 
fish showed no evidence of disease, and fish from the same 
schools which entered the mouth of Gulf River survived. No 
satisfactory remedy could be found. It proved impossible to 
break the chain of events without the expenditure of large 
sums to clear the harbor of dead fish, and no practical means 
could be devised for preventing new schools from entering the 
harbor. An attempt by the fire department to clear the flats 
by use of a hose was abandoned; the amounts carted away 
for fertilization made little impression on the quantity; raking 
or gathering by hand proved inexpedient on account of the 
cost and the scarcity of labor, and the stranded fish had to 
be left for disposal by nature's slow but sure methods. 

Shad. 
The plans laid between Connecticut, California and Massa- 
chusetts for the re-establishment of the shad in eastern waters 
appear impossible of accomplishment without the expenditure 
of substantial sums of money. Owing to war conditions and 
shortage of labor no collection of shad eggs were made in 
California (the only source of eggs) in 1918 and 1919, and the 
officials of that State now consider that such collections will 
require a movable equipment and hatchery, the cost of which 
would be several thousand dollars. This being the case, 
Massachusetts would be unable to engage in such a venture 
without an appropriation for the purpose from the Legislature. 



1920.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 143 



The Mollusk Fisheries. 

The past year has witnessed little change in the general 
shellfish situation, for, with a few exceptions, the same old 
methods have obtained, and the usual returns have resulted. 
For many years the Division of Fisheries and Game has 
looked forward hopefully to the commercial adoption of shell- 
fish farming, the success of which was demonstrated previous 
to 1910 by extensive experimental study. It is disappointing 
to realize that so little progress has been made in the utili- 
zation of the non-productive tidal waters. Encouragement to 
prospective shellfish farmers in the form of progressive pro- 
tective legislation seems to be the principal condition precedent 
at the present time. In any event, it may safely be said that 
the future success of the shellfish industries depends upon 
the extensive development of commercial shellfish farming. 

Clams. — The production of clams, particularly in the 
Ipswich Bay section of the coast, has been above the average. 
Clam farming has been continued in Barnstable and Plymouth. 
The sale of clams to automobilists along the roadway, in the 
same manner as vegetables are sold in other parts of the State, 
has attracted considerable notice in Essex County. 

Scallops. — The 1919-20 fishery returns proved excellent, 
but the scarcity of seed scallops was early noticed, and the 
1920-21 season (up to Nov. 30, 1920) proved almost a complete 
failure. Scallops brought the high price of $8 to $9 a gallon, but 
were very scarce. A bed of sea scallops was discovered off the 
western end of Marthas Vineyard, which gave good returns. 

The winter of 1919-20 was a severe one, and early ice pre- 
vented fishing before the supply of scallops in Buzzards Bay 
was at all exhausted. The 10-bushel limit had so restricted 
the catch in the early part of the season that a large quantity 
of scallops remained when the harbors were closed with ice, 
which did not leave until the end of the open season. The 
scallops thus made inaccessible would have died naturally before 
another open season, resulting in an extensive economic waste, 
unless their taking out of season were legalized. This situation 
was met by the enactment of chapter 139, Acts of 1920, which 
empowered the commissioner of conservation in his discretion 



144 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

to authorize city and town authorities to issue permits to 
inhabitants of their cities or towns for taking scallops at 
prescribed times and in prescribed quantities when, owing to 
unusual circumstances, the scallops that are or will be available 
could not otherwise be taken without violation of the law. 
On request, the Department authorized the selectmen of 
Marion, Wareham, Nantucket and Bourne to issue permits 
for the taking of scallops in unlimited quantities (except that 
Wareham was limited to 15 bushels per person per day), 
total catch to contain not more than 5 per cent of seed scallops, 
up to May 1, 1920 (in the case of Wareham up to April 15, 
1920). A novel method of catching scallops was employed at 
Wareham. Prevented by ice from using boats the fishermen 
cut parallel slits in the ice about 150 feet apart over the 
scallop beds, passed a rope under the ice between them by 
means of poles, and by attaching two ropes to a dredge hauled 
the dredge back and forth, either by hand or by horse, over the 
area between the two openings in the ice. The high price of 
scallops made this method, laborious as it proved to be, a 
paying proposition, and introduced a most unique method of 
scalloping, — another tribute to Yankee ingenuity. 

Oysters. — The oyster industry has fallen off from the yield in 
previous years, thus sharing in the general stagnation of this im- 
portant industry along practically all of the north Atlantic coast. 
Quahaugs. — The quahaug fishery has given an average 
yield, and there have taken place no particularly noteworthy 
happenings with regard to it. 

Pollution of Shellfish Grounds. — Under the provisions of 
section 113 of chapter 91 of the Revised Laws the Department 
of Public Health on March 9, 1920, requested the Department 
of Conservation to prohibit the taking of oysters, clams or 
quahaugs from the waters or flats of Boston Harbor, including 
the tributaries of the Charles, Mystic and Neponset rivers, 
the Chelsea River, and Dorchester and Quincy bays, inside, 
or west, of a line drawn from Windmill Point in Hull to the 
southeasterly point of Deer Island and through Deer Island 
and across Shirley Gut to Point Shirley, excepting along 
the Winthrop shore inside, or northeast, of a line drawn from 
the outer end of the steamboat landing of the Point Shirley 
Club at Point Shirley to the outer end of the Cottage Park 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 145 

Club Wharf on the southerly shore of Winthrop between Orlando 
and Woodside avenues; and also about the shores of Lo veils, 
Gallups and Georges islands. At a meeting of the Department of 
Conservation on March 26, 1920, the requested prohibition was 
made for three years from April 10, 1920, and fully advertised 
through the press in all towns bordering the area affected. 

The bounds as set forth having proved insufficiently definite 
for proper enforcement of the regulations, they were revised, 
and on Oct. 19, 1920, the Department of Public Health re- 
quested the closing, to the taking of oysters, clams, quahaugs 
or scallops, of the waters or flats of Boston Harbor, including 
all its arms and tributaries, inside of a line drawn from Wind- 
mill Point in Hull to the southeasterly point of Deer Island 
and through Deer Island and across Shirley Gut to Point 
Shirley, excepting along the Winthrop shore inside, or north- 
east, of a line drawn from the outer end of the steamboat 
landing of the Point Shirley Club at Point Shirley to the 
outer end of the Cottage Park Yacht Club Wharf on the 
southerly shore of Winthrop between Orlando and Woodside 
avenues, and excepting along the westerly shore of Hull east 
of a line drawn from the westerly extremity of Sunset or 
Nantasket Point to the Windermere Station on the New 
York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad; also about the shores 
of Lovells, Gallups and Georges islands. The above-specified 
area was closed, at a meeting of the Department of Con- 
servation, on Nov. 10, 1920, for three years from Nov. 20, 
1920, and duly advertised. 

Under the same act request was made for the prohibition of 
the taking of clams, oysters or quahaugs from the waters or 
flats of Cohasset Harbor including its tributaries, inside or 
west of the stone breakwater and a line drawn in extension 
thereof to high-water mark on the northerly side of the harbor. 
The desired prohibition was made at a meeting of the De- 
partment of Conservation on Oct. 27, 1920, for three years 
from Nov. 8, 1920, and duly advertised. 

Respectfully submitted, 

WILLIAM C. ADAMS, 

Director, Division of Fisheries and Game. 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX. 



RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATION. 

I. To amend the Law relative to issuing Hunting and Fishing 
Licenses. — The present law requires licenses for fishing in 
only those inland waters which have been stocked by this 
Department since Jan. 1, 1910. The publication yearly of 
lists of waters stocked during the year involves considerable 
expense. Further, by reason of the fact that many streams 
are known by various names, much confusion is created in 
the minds of persons who wish to determine whether a stream 
has or has not been stocked. Many of the unstocked inland 
waters are being depleted, and we believe they should be 
protected by requiring licenses for fishing therein. 

A person wishing to secure a duplicate of a lost or destroyed 
license is required by the present law to apply, either in person 
or by letter, at the office of the Division of Fisheries and 
Game. This is an inconvenience to the public, and creates a 
volume of work in the office of the division at the busiest 
season of the year. An amendment permitting the issuance 
of duplicates by city and town clerks will remedy this, and 
the 25-cent fee will have the effect of reducing the number of 
licenses lost. 

Under the existing law there is no limit to the amount of 
fish or game which a non-resident may take out of the State 
under his license, except in the case of birds and brook trout. 
Inasmuch as the Department is bending every effort to con- 
serve the supply of wild life within the Commonwealth, it 
seems only just and fair that a limit be set. 

II. To provide a Penalty for destroying or injuring Private 
Property while Hunting, Trapping or Fishing. — Instances have 
occurred where thoughtless hunters and fishermen have de- 
stroyed or injured private property while pursuing their sport. 
In order to safeguard the rights of landowners; to secure for 
the Fish and Game Division their hearty co-operation in the 



150 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

conservation of wild life rather than their condemnation of 
all things relating to hunting and fishing; and to spare the 
true sportsman the injustice of being obliged to share the 
blame for the deeds of the unmindful, we believe that the 
accompanying bill is timely and necessary. 

III. To empower Fish and Game Wardens to arrest Persons 
ivho assault them or interfere with them in the Performance of 
their Duties. — At the present time the fish and game wardens 
have no authority to forthwith arrest persons who would 
assault them or interfere with them in the performance of 
their duties. Much of their work being done at night, when 
recognition of such persons is impossible, without the power 
of arrest on the spot there is no redress for the wardens. A 
case in point occurred a short time ago when two wardens were 
attacked and forced to take to cover to protect themselves 
from injury, since they had no right to charge the crowd and 
arrest the offenders. 

IV. To provide for Payment for Damage caused by Moose. — 
Many times the moose which are at large in the Commonwealth 
have caused damage to private property. We deem it fair and 
just that compensation for such damage should be paid as in 
the case of damage done by deer. 

V. To regulate the Release within the Commonwealth of 
Wild Birds or Animals. — Cases have come to our attention 
of the liberation, by breeders, of game birds or animals, or 
sick or diseased stock. To safeguard the health of the stock 
in the wild, we deem it necessary to reserve the right to 
judge what birds or animals may be liberated. The liberation 
of fish in waters of the Commonwealth is already, by law, 
placed under the control of the Department. 

VI. To correct the Law relating to Fur-bearing Animals. — 
Because of the omission of the month of March from the open 
season on muskrats, and because the section relating to the 
training of dogs is not plain to the layman, amendment of the 
law is necessary as set forth in the accompanying act. 

VII. To permit the Importation into Massachusetts of Fish 
and Game taken legally outside the Commonwealth, and to permit 
Possession of Such Fish and Game after the Close of the Season. — 
The present laws permit the taking of a bag limit of fish and 



1920.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 151 

game on the last day of the open seasons; but the person 
taking it cannot reasonably be expected to dispose of the 
same immediately. The accompanying act will give a reason- 
able length of time for the disposal of game and fish legally 
taken during the open season. It will also permit the im- 
portation and possession, after the close of seasons in Massa- 
chusetts, of fish and game taken legally outside of the Com- 
monwealth. 

VIII. To permit the Importation of European or Gray 
Partridge. — In order to encourage the local breeding of 
European or gray partridge, this species was not mentioned in 
section 5 of chapter 567, Acts of 1912, among the species which 
might be imported from without the United States. But as 
no disposition has been shown by local breeders to propagate 
them, it appears advisable to meet the demand for these birds 
by authorizing their importation. For this reason we recom- 
mend that this species be included in the birds named in 
section 5 of said act. 

IX. To permit the Killing or Trapping of Predatory Birds 
or Animals within Reservations. — The authority for the issu- 
ance of permits to destroy harmful birds or animals on reserva- 
tions is limited, by section 4, chapter 410, Acts of 1911, to is- 
suance to wardens or owners or occupants of land within the 
reservations. For the better protection of useful wild life it 
is desirable that the Department's authority be extended to 
the issuance of permits to any responsible person who may be 
willing to assist in the destruction of undesirable species. 

X. To amend the Law pertaining to Wild or Undomesticated 
Birds. — Section 7, chapter 92, of the Revised Laws was 
enacted before ducks, geese and waterfowl were protected by 
law. It is now necessary to omit these species from the law 
in order to avoid conflict with subsequent laws. 

XL To make the Laws of Massachusetts relative to Migratory 
Birds conform with the Laws of the United States. — The Federal 
government has entered into a treaty with Great Britain for 
the uniform protection of migratory birds on the American 
continent. The Federal laws in this connection render con- 
flicting State laws void. For the convenience of the public, 
and for the proper enforcement of the law, it is desirable to 



152 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

have the laws of this Commonwealth conform with the Federal 
rules and regulations. 

XII. To regulate the Catching and Sale of Fresh-water Fish. — 
"Winter fishing and absence of restriction on the sale of pond 
fish have been two of the principal causes of the depletion of 
inland fisheries during the past few years. Progressive con- 
servation demands that catch and sale limits be established. 

XIII. To permit the Taking of Eels in the Vicinity of 
Hingham Harbor. — Inasmuch as eels have done much damage 
to the smelt fisheries in this vicinity, which are the principal 
remaining smelt fisheries of the State, the taking of eels in this 
locality should be permitted, notwithstanding the provisions 
of chapter 27, General Acts of 1916. 

XIV. To regulate the Taking of Lobsters. — The laws of 
Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York provide for the 
measurement of lobsters according to the so-called body 
measure. The State of Maine this year proposes to amend 
its law so as to adopt the same method, w T ith a view to further- 
ing the movement for a uniform measure for New England and 
New York. Uniform method of measurement will increase 
the chance for co-operation among the adjacent States. The 
size of legal lobsters will remain practically the same, and the 
chance for confusion will be eliminated. 

XV. Relative to taking Fresh-water Fish. — The increased 
number of fishermen, the accessibility of waters by reason of 
the automobile, the great expense of artificial propagation on 
a scale sufficient to meet the requirements, make it imperative 
that the taking of fresh-water fish from our inland waters 
should be limited to a reasonable number per day. 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



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154 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



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1920.' 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



155 



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156 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Number of Pounds of Fish taken 



Town. 


73 
© 
> 

o 

< 


s 


© 

c 

3 

o 


o 
S 

03 

3 


c 
6 
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d 

c 
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44 

8 

o 


o 

O 


& 

o 
QQ 


Barnstable, . 


- 


- 


130 


66,035 


1,900 


- 


11,005 


- 


Beverly, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


" 


Boston, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Bourne, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Brewster, 






49,180 


9 


555 


4,208 


6,650 


- 


800 


- 


Chatham, 






- 


- 


5,213 


10,664 


1,216 


- 


- 


- 


Chilmark, 






- 


8 


1,050 


6,682 


- 


- 


50 


500 


Cohasset, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Dennis, . 






- 


400 


- 


3,125 


- 


- 


300 


- 


Fairhaven, 






19,568 


11,126 


5,158 


3,672 


38,665 


- 


- 


18 


Fall River, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Falmouth, 






35,885 


322 


32 


1,348 


1,905 


- 


- 


75 


Gay Head, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


800 


Gloucester, 






3,000 


- 


17,928 


18,093 


- 


10,000 


1,666 


- 


Gosnold, 






1,235 


68 


1,950 


6,616 


3,300 


1 


22 


1,048 


Hull, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Manchester, 






7,629 


- 


- 


9,627 


- 


6,254 


3,677 


- 


Marblehead, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Marshfield, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Nahant, 






500 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Nantucket, 






72,000 


- 


4,150 


30,475 


- 


- 


- 


2,200 


New Bedford , 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Newburyport , 




- 


- 


.- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Orleans, . 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Plymouth, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Provincetown 






- 


- 


410,900 


60,674 


10,400 


- 


1,025 


- 


Quincy, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Raynham, 






100,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Revere, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Rockport, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


10,000 


- 


Salem, . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


40,888 


- 


Salisbury, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Sandwich, 






- 


- 


- 


1,557 




- 


280 


- 


Scituate, 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


~ 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



157 



in Pounds, Nets, Traps, etc., 1920. 



a 
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5 
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© 


72, 

cr 
m 


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3 
ej 


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Q 


1 


4 

1 

o 


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> 
o 


41,800 


- 


- 


- 


194,500 


760 


320,105 


4,176 


640,411 


$19,825 94 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


36,105 


36,105 


10,080 10 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


7,125 


7,125 


1,727 38 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


40,788 


40,788 


10,186 93 


96,895 


- 


- 


- 


8,075 


117 


16,662 


- 


183,151 


3,642 54 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


22,664 


39,757 


9,881 11 


- 


10 


- 


- 


- 


- 


12,980 


187,144 


208,424 


39,745 60 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


37,220 


37,220 


8,693 39 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


9,743 


13,568 


3,169 97 


72,434 


38 


217 


12 


30,513 


15,745 


25,580 


41,264 


264,010 


13,594 01 


- 


7 


- 


- 


10,446 


9,028 


73 


46,188 


105,309 


10,444 64 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


4,200 


69,510 


74,510 


12,822 19 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


40,300 


108,023 


199,010 


29,270 16 


1,135 


5 


43 


143 


8,400 


130 


26,573 


198,164 


248,833 


36,436 93 


- 


- 


- 




- 


- 


- 


22,451 


22,451 


6,288 76 


11,348 


967 


- 


- 


170 


- 


160,825 


17,852 


218,349 


7,605 31 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


97,973 


97,973 


26,182 83 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


69,448 


69,448 


16,663 92 


3,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


600 


43,511 


47,611 


3,422 53 


4,000 


16,650 


- 


- 


30,050 


- 


30,750 


9,452 


199,727 


16,796 91 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


225,411 


225,411 


46,148 95 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


20,862 


3,428 


24,290 


1,520 68 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,475 


2,475 


1,237 50 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


146,796 


146,796 


30,492 45 


41,800 


- 


- 


- 


128,200 


- 


96,745 


101 


749,845 


26,958 36 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,577 


1,577 


814 40 


- 


1,100 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


87,365 


188,465 


22,226 23 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2,191 


2,191 


1,997 89 


300 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


10,300 


401 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


43 


- 


14,982 


55,913 


5,345 89 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


4,560 


4,560 


1,386 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


9,295 


- 


3,800 


8,933 


23,865 


3,152 13 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


152.51*5 


152,565 


31,719 42 






158 



FISH AND GAME 



[Nov. 









Number o 


f Pounds of Fish taken in 


Town. 


> 

is 
o 


in 



5 


o 

a 

o 




9 

s 


O 


-a 

s 


& 

o 

w 


Swampscott, . 


- 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Tisbury, 


6,931 


500 


14,474 


49,916 


15,745 


365 


1,230 


12,440 


Westport, 


8,000 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Weymouth, . 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Yarmouth, 


- 


- 


38,705 


17,165 


- 


- 


9,565 


- 


Totals, . 


303,928 


12,433 


500,245 


289,857 


79,781 


16,620 


80,508 


17,081 



1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



159 



Pounds, Nets, Traps, etc., 1920 — Concluded. 















J24 




m 








a5 








-co 




a 

O 


3 


'u 




M 








W.t5 


03 


03 


a 










M ' 


3 


Lj 


P* 




B 




o> 
S3 




y 


O 
3 




,2 


"3 


13 










a 






O 


o 


o 


QQ 


co 


co 


M 


CO 


Eh 


O 


^ 


H 


H 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


41,118 


41,118 


$10,803 84 


- 


25 


525 


- 


35,988 


262 


30,655 


21,723 


190,779 


16,543 60 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


84,953 


92,953 


15,891 43 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


20,598 


20,598 


7,147 96 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


200 


5,762 


71,397 


8,807 65 


272,712 


18,802 


785 


155 


455,637 


26,085 


790,910 


1,893,369 


4,758,908 


$519,076 53 



160 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov 






to £ r. 

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to S 



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l,ui her A. ( lahoon, 
Arthur Daigle, . 
( Iharles A. I )avis, 
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( >liver Kersey, . 




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1920." 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



161 



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oouooooooo 5o OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOC C U U C c c u u i 




162 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



o to £ 

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oooocoooooo 
OOOOOUUOOOU 



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G G G C G 

o o o o o 

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CGGGCGGGGG 
OOOOOOOOCO 

03c3c3c3c3c3cSc3c3c3 

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OOOOOOOOO 

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'cVS'rt'S'rt'cS rt 5 3 rt d"3'<3'c3 d "rt 13 "3 13 
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fafafafafafafafafa 



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1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



163 



rtrHHNNNHIM 



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JS -C Xi A -C J5 pGrC 

oooooooo 

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fe fe En fe En En En En 



•"0 "XJ '"O ^C ""O *"C5 *"0 "Xi *"C5 *"0 *"C ""O *"C 

r-M ri r*-( M r"-l r^ h*n r*i r - -* h*-i H-i r^i t-M 0000000000000000000000 

c3o3^^c3crio3ric3c3o3c6G3 

ooooooooooooo 



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164 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov 






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IS 

£ o 



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8gggggg£££s:--s!£8 ^^o -c^-c^^^^"-^^^-^^^^^ 

333333333333333 CCC CCCCCS = GrCC3CCCC3G 

JoJ^J^^^^^ o^o^^^ ggg 88§§S§oo3o38888888 

000000000000000 000 000000000000000000 



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1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



165 





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166 



FISH AND GAME. 



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r. x x r. ■/. Vi j. x. f. x. x x. f. tc sj n x xi *? 



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1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



167 



l N rt(NMrHNIMiHNO)IMINrtN I C^I i-c ' 



ICO'H(MrtC^<M<M-< I -li 



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ffiffiffipq«pqfflpqpqfflpqpqpqpq«m«spqpqs«pqpq«p;sS«ffiWffin « 



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168 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



d 

c 
U 



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Number 

of Egg 

Lobsters. 


cm 


6 
> 


O O U9 

©no ■**< 

1"- t~- CM 

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CO <M t* 

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2 c ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 

•2 g eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 

S ^ >>>>>. >, >. >, >, >. >. >, >. >, >. >. >. >. >. >> >. >. >->->'>>>'>->->->,'^^^^ 


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1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



169 









^ jz ^ ^ sz ~ — — .=. jz jz ^=. — jz -z ~ — jzjzjz^z 

33333 i 3'33"33333~3 3 3 3 3 33" 3 

cocoococoococoooooooo 
£££££££££££££££££££££ 



3 3 
■J i£ 

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££££££££££££££ 

3 C 



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0-» 









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170 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



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s s s 3 s s 


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3333333333 




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o3 03 c3 c3 c3 C3 




c3 03 C3 cj c3 c3 C3 


03 


03 03 03 03 














1 
















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1920.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



171 



1111111111111111 

O©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©© xxxxxxr. xxxx^cxcokw 

x x x x -jL -jL -jL -jL x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 

i . . . c 

- - -2 12 c 

■ ' HI'S ifg V??=--;=£:sis \g|f -o'lf^i 2-gf8§i|g|ii 

I III il ! Illlllil = 5" 04 it ! 1 |J:SJ*3l H I > Hll 



172 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



T3 
03 

— 3 

3 
d 
c 
O 



03 



Number 

of Egg 

Lobsters. 


CO CM 

o o 

CO t- 


3 


CO CO 

t— CO 

CO "5 

as <-< 


1 3 


05 iO 


6 

3 

3 


g s 

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CM I~- 

or> o 


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o o 
CO cm 


e 

3 

> 


§ § 

in o 

O 00 


si 

2o 




JC •-< CM 1 »-<i-l(MJZi CM »-l ^ CM i-H — ! cA„„ rt -.rtrt «NMlN 


4> 3 
3«~ 


J/2*-l»-H-H CM^HrtOTJ NHFHr-rtrtrtrtrtrHrtrtrHrt CM rH -H CM 


a 

o 


3333 3333 ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ftftftft 

X3-Q^J-0 .D .Q ,£ .Q "£ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ iii iiiik "oc "5 "k "k 

££££ hhhH ££££££££££££££ ££££ 


O 

h 

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>> 
•— ■ ,.(-.... 

• • • • 3 3 

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' ' ' -a «- * is 

e - - - - - «> e 3 

ai . - "S • a> - O ci e .» . . * -u _; 3 02c3' •- 

fltfs-g! In if ? if*. r|£l§ it* £ 1 

rtU^o a: > ^ a> & ^ >,*= a c j:^ 1 - 1 s> 5 S^ 1 ^ „ fe c^ .^ 



1920. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



173 





o 


oo 




oq 




CM 




CO 




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_ H 










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cm 










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C . 

raw? s|il 



Public Document 



No. 25 



Cfce Commontoealti) of egassacimsettg 



ANNUAL REPORT 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 



Year ending November 30, 1921 



Department of Conservation 




BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 



Public Document No. 25 



Cfte Commontoealtf) of Massachusetts 



ANNUAL REPORT 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 



Year ending November 30, 1921 



JlhdAAj:, Department of Conservation : ,XI a^-MLc^v^ ^ 
— < • ~~^ 










BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 



BOSTON 



Publication of this Document 

approved by the 
Supervisor of Administration. 



C73/^ 
3 



DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION. 



Commissioner. 

WILLIAM A. L. BAZELEY. 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME. 



Director. 

WILLIAM C. ADAMS. 

Inspector of Fish. 

ARTHUR L. MILLETT. 

Secretary. 

Miss L. B. RIMBACH. 

Chief Fish and Game Warden. 

ORRIN C. BOURNE. 

License Clerk. 

W. RAYMOND COLLINS. 

Supervisor of Distributions. 

JAMES A. KITSON. 

Biologist. 

DAVID L. BELDING. 

Office: Room 506, State House, Boston, Mass. 



CONTENTS 



General Considerations 
Personnel 
Finances 
Conference 

Activities outside the State 
Associations 
Education and Publicity 
Enforcement of Laws 
Personnel 
Equipment 
Co-operation . 
Court Cases 
Lobster Laws . 
License Laws . 
Federal Regulations 
Revised Laws . 
Legislation 
Biological Department 
General . 
Personnel 
Reports . 

Survey of Inland Waters 
Smelt 
Alewife . 
Bird Disease . 
Fish Disease 
Pollution 
Wild Birds and Animals 
Winter Feeding 
Fires 

Posted Land 
Breeding Season 
Migratory Birds 

Song and Insectivorous Birds 
Migratory Game Birds 

Shore Birds 

Black-breasted Plover 

Golden Plover 

Upland Plover 

Killdeer Plover 

Piping Plover 

Jack, or Wilson's, Snipe 

Woodcock 

Dowitcher 

Sandpipers 

Least Sandpiper and Semi-palmated Sandpiper 

Yellowlegs 

Willet 

Hudsonian Curlew 

Godwit 

Water Fowl 
' Wood Duck 



PAGE 

1 

6 
6 
10 
10 
11 
13 
15 
15 
16 
16 
18 
23 
24 
25 
25 
26 
27 
27 
27 
27 
27 
28 
28 
28 
29 
29 
30 
30 
30 
31 
33 
33 
33 
34 
34 
34 
34 
35 
35 
35 
35 
35 
36 
36 
36 
36 
36 
36 
37 
37 
37 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Wild Birds and Animals - 


— Concluded. 






Migratory Birds — Concluded. 


Migratory Game Birds — Concluded. page 


Mallard Duck .37 


Red-head ....... 




38 


Canvasback ...... 




38 


Black Duck 




38 


Bluebill 




. 39 


Scoter 






39 


Sheldrake 






. 39 


Whistler 






39 


Widgeon 






39 


Geese 






39 


Statistics of the Gunning Stands . 




40 


Swan ....... 




40 


Migratory Non-Game Birds — Gulls and Terns 




41 


Destructive Agencies ...... 




42 


Oil Waste 




42 


Lighthouses ...... 




44 


Migratory Bird Law ...... 




. 45 


L'pland Game ........ 




. 46 


Pheasants ....... 




46 


Ruffed Grouse ....... 




49 


Quail ........ 




50 


Carolina Doves ...... 




50 


Deer ........ 




51 


Moose ........ 




54 


Squirrels ........ 




55 


Hares and Rabbits ...... 




55 


Fur-bearing Animals ...... 




56 


Enemies to Game ....... 




58 


Cats ........ 




58 


Starlings ........ 




5S 


Hawks, Owls and Other Vermin .... 




58 


Reservations ........ 




59 


Marthas Vineyard Reservation .... 




59 


Myles Standish State Forest .... 




60 


Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary .... 




61 


Reservations under Sections 69 to 75, Chapter 131, of 


the Genera 




Laws . . ... 




64 


Inland Fisheries 






65 


General . 








65 


Winter Fishing 








67 


Trout 








69 


Brook Trout 








69 


Brown Trout 








70 


Chinook Salmon 








70 


Pike Perch 








71 


Pickerel . 








72 


Bass 








73 


White Perch 








74 


Smelt 








75 


Horned Pout or Catfish 






77 


Blue Gills 






78 


Fishing Privileges in Great Ponds ..... 




78 


Permits to seine Squibnocket Pond 




78 


Leases of Great ! 


3 onds 






79 



CONTEXTS. 



vn 



Inland Fisheries — Concluded. 

Screens ..... 
Fishways .... 

Saugus River 

Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers 
Ipswich River . 

Ipswich Mills Fishway 
Barrett Fishway . 
Rice Dam . 
Merrimack River 

Lawrence Fishway 
Lowell Fishway . 
Brightman Pond 
Pollution .... 

Propagation of Fish and Game 

General ..... 
Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms 
Palmer Fish Hatchery 
Small Mouth Bass 
Large Mouth Bass 
Brook Trout 
Horned Pout 
Blue Gills . 
Sandwich Fish Hatcheries . 
Sutton Fish Hatchery 
Brook Trout 
Brown Trout 
Montague Rearing Station . 
Amherst Rearing Station . 
Marshfield Bird Farm 
Sandwich Bird Farm . 
Pheasants . 
Wood Ducks 
Quail 
Wilbraham Game Farm 
Field Propagation 
Stockwell Ponds 
Shaker Mill Pond 
Game Breeding by Private Enterprise 
Fish and Game Distribution 
Marine Fisheries .... 
Inspection of Fish . 

Work of the Deputies 
Blackstone Street Cart Conditions 
Peddler's Supply 
Cheap Salmon for the "Fourth 
Inspection of Producing Points 
Improving Quality of Splitting Fish 
Recommendations 
The Fisheries College 
National Fish Day . 
Federal Control of Migratory Fish 
The Fish Industry . 

Believes Submarines affected Traps' Catch 
Refrigeration aids Dealer and Consumer 
Fresh Fish Dealers Hopeful 
Fleets generally operated at a Loss 



PAGE 

79 

79 

80 

80 

81 

81 

81 

82 

82 

82 

85 

86 

86 

88 

88 

89 

89 

89 

90 

90 

91 

91 

91 

93 

94 

96 

96 

98 

100 

101 

101 

102 

103 

103 

107 

107 

109 

110 

111 

115 

115 

116 

117 

117 

117 

119 

119 

123 

123 

126 

127 

128 

129 

130 

131 

133 



Vlll 



CONTENTS. 



Marine Fisheries — Concluded. 
The Deep-sea Fisheries 

Fresh Fishing or Haddock Fleet 
Swordfishing Fleet 
The Mackerel Fishery 
Salt Bank Codfishery 
The Shacking Fleet . 
Fresh Halibut Fleet . 
The Gill Netting Fleet 
Small Craft 
Flounder Fishery 
Cape Cod Activities . 
Buzzards Bay Fisheries 
Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket Fisheries 
Boston Fishery Activities . 
The Gloucester Fisheries 
An Unusual Catch 
Run of Small Bluefish . 
Large Catch of Porgies 
The Lobster Fishery 
The Blue Crab (Soft Shell) Fishery 
Bounties on Seals 
Mollusk Fisheries 

Clams .... 
Ipswich Bay 
Gloucester to Cohasset 
Plymouth to Sandwich 
Cape Cod . 
Buzzards Bay 

Mount Hope Bay and Taunton Paver 
The Islands 
Scallops . 

Cape Cod . 
Buzzards Bay 
Mount Hope Baj 
The Islands 
Oysters 

Cape Cod . 
Buzzards Bay 

Mount Hope Bay and Taunton River 
Quahaugs 

Cape Cod . 
Buzzards Bay 
Mount Hope Bay 
The Islands 
Shad 

Alewives . 
Fishery 
Industry 
Investigations 
Obstructions 
Fishways 
Transplanting 
Appendix : — 

Recommendations for Legislation .... 
Returns of the Shore Net and Pound Fisheries for 1921 
Number of Pounds of Fish taken in Pounds, Nets, Traps, etc 
Returns from Lobster Fisheries, 1921 . . . . 



1921 



Cfte Commontoeaitft of S@a00acjm0ett0 



The Director of Fisheries and Game herewith presents the 
fifty-sixth annual report. 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. 

One of the surest guarantees that straight thinking will be 
employed in solving the problems of maintaining and increasing 
the wild life resources of a State or country is the result which 
will flow from pausing to make a survey of existing stock, the 
agencies at hand with which to care for it, the state of public 
sentiment with relation to it, and the demands of the future. 
It is useless to inveigh against the profligacy with which this 
great wealth has been squandered in the past, save for the 
lessons that may be drawn for present and future guidance. 
While we take pride in contemplating the amount of wild life 
still remaining in our comparatively small State, such pride must 
be fully tempered by the realization that even we, who have 
had and still possess one of the most enlightened public opinions 
on this continent, have wasted our substance in riotous living. 

Massachusetts has over 400 miles of coastline, within the 
3-mile limit of which lies one of the most valuable coastal 
fisheries in the world, one of the most valuable shellfish tracts 
in the world, and one of the finest wild-fowl shooting areas on 
the North American continent. It would challenge the imagi- 
nation of the most resourceful romancer to describe the condi- 
tions which existed on those areas when the country was first 
discovered, — the vast quantities of anadromous fish which 
ascended our streams to the breeding grounds; the annual 
visitation to our shores of other migratory fish; the great 
areas of shellfish existing in an abundance that appeared inex- 
haustible, together with the countless thousands of shore birds 
and water fowl which either bred within the area or stopped 
on it some time in their migrations. To-day (with the excep- 
tion of the alewife) the fish no longer ascend the streams; the 
shellfish areas have been greatly restricted; certain species of 



2 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

shore birds and wild fowl have become extinct; and as to the 
others, the depletion has been arrested almost at the vanishing 
point. The one basic fact to be deduced from all this is, the 
hand of man has taken it away, and the hand of man must 
restore it if it is ever going to be restored. 

The devastating factors are so many, the prospect for fur- 
ther restrictions in breeding grounds and sanctuaries so great, 
that in many of its larger phases the work appears to be al- 
most hopeless. It is not reasonable to expect that the original 
conditions can be restored, and it is unprofitable to mourn 
over departed glories, and useless to dream of future condi- 
tions. We have arrived at a point where it is necessary to 
appraise the present stock; to understand conditions as they 
exist; to relinquish our hopes of bringing back many species; 
to select those which have survived and give promise of being 
able to meet even heavier competition in the fight for existence; 
to classify the agencies with which the work may be done; 
and to go forward resolutely in the plan of rehabilitation. 

In the course of such a survey we are confronted with such 
facts as the following. The streams which were the principal 
breeding grounds of certain salt-water fish are crossed by im- 
passable barriers. The water is so polluted that it is question- 
able whether the fish life can exist. All our streams which 
have been or are of sufficient size to constitute the large breed- 
ing areas have on their banks to-day large cities, and in addi- 
tion, innumerable manufacturing plants, sawmills and other 
activities, — all depositing their share of pollution into these 
great highways to the sea. 

The shellfish areas have been greatly restricted by the en- 
croachments of civilization, and those remaining are further 
threatened by the menace of existing problems of pollution, the 
most dreaded of all (of recent appearance) being the rapidly 
increasing deposits of chemicals and oils on the flats. By 
drainage and diversion of water courses many shellfish areas 
have been completely wiped out. Further tracts which are 
contiguous to the outlets of rivers have been permanently 
ruined by the precipitation of pollution on them, or are to-day 
prohibited ground by reason of the presence of pollution. Other 
areas are being rapidly eliminated through the accumulation of 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 3 

oil and other trade wastes which are gradually being deposited. 
In the towns bordering coastal waters, while the problems of 
development of the shellfish fisheries are substantially identical, 
the sets of rules and regulations are almost as many and 
diverse as the number of towns along the shore. Far-reaching 
development is hampered by petty local political considerations, 
with the result that during the past generation very little has 
been done to insure a permanent, businesslike and economic 
development. 

The breeding and resting grounds of the shore birds and 
wild fowl have been equally restricted. Great areas of swamp 
and marsh have been drained and turned to purposes of agri- 
culture, while others have been made uninhabitable by the con- 
stant presence of man. To the natural agencies of destruction 
have been added the practically inestimable losses wrought by 
man in the course of the annual migration. To all these must 
be added inadequate laws, absence of any protection whatever 
in certain respects, and the prospect of increased rather than 
decreased destruction. 

The foregoing by no means includes all elements in any part 
of the survey, but sketches the general trend. 

The remedies which should be applied are fairly easy to 
enumerate but the application of them is immediately recog- 
nized as difficult, — some by reason of their conflict with com- 
mercial interests, some because of interference with local 
political interests, some because they antagonize the wishes of 
a certain class which desires to exploit for immediate personal 
advantage, and some because they curb that impulse, which 
seems to be ingrained in the average human being, to kill all 
other forms of life indiscriminately. 

Pollution of all kinds injurious to fish life should be removed 
from our coastal waters. Fishways should be installed to insure 
access to spawning grounds. The waste now emptied into our 
rivers from cities and manufactories should be diverted to 
reclamation plants. This would cost millions of dollars and 
delay economic development of vast proportions. While the 
population would undoubtedly benefit very substantially from 
the reclamation of these wastes, it is argued in many quarters 
that such benefit, together with the profit from the fisheries, 



1 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

would not compensate for the cost of putting the whole into 
operation, even viewed over a period of many years. There are 

certain streams which have been carrying pollution for decades. 
The sides and bottom of those streams have become so thoroughly 
impregnated that it is a question whether they could ever be 
restored. The presence of existing pollution in our streams 
has been too often used as an excuse for not taking action. 
As illustration, it was contended by eminent scientists that the 
pollution in the Merrimack River was such that no anadromous 
fish would ascend its waters, even if fishways were provided 
over the obstructions at Lawrence and Lowell. The fishway 
at Lawrence was completed during the past spring, and a sub- 
stantial number of alewives were noted in the fishway and 
successfully passing through it to the upper reaches of the 
river. But our answer is, viewed in the light of one hundred 
years or five hundred years, the salvage of these by-products 
which to-day are trade waste and sewage, which have all the 
elements of the highest quality of fertilizer, will be profitable, 
and will far outweigh the present or prospective economic 
losses of delayed development incident thereto. Again, it is 
desirable that the great annual precipitations, which to-day 
quickly run to the sea, should be collected in vast reservoirs 
from which great units of power may be developed. These 
reservoirs would take the place of many of the present non- 
producing areas, and in their waters, kept free from pollution, 
great quantities of fish could be annually produced, to say 
nothing of the inestimable benefits to be derived from the 
recreational aspects of the case. In all probability there will 
never be any more streams or rivers, but there can be almost 
any number of additional bodies of water. 

As to the shellfish, practically all the defilement previously 
described must be removed. Certain areas, such as a portion 
of the flats of Boston Harbor, those lying contiguous to 
New Bedford, and others, may have to be permanently 
abandoned. But even with the amount of shellfish area 
remaining there is the possibility of great economic develop- 
ment under business methods and standardized practices. 
The shellfish areas should be surveyed and portions set aside 
for public fishing. The rest should be leased in suitably 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 5 

sized areas to individuals for shellfish farming. The lease should 
cover a period of ten to fifteen years, this being long enough to 
induce intensive cultivation. It should contain provisions pro- 
hibiting transfer without the consent of the lessor; for its 
cancellation in case of failure to do a certain amount of con- 
structive work each year; and (in case of death of a lessor) for 
payment to his estate by his successor of the value of his work. 
Suitable markers should show the boundary lines between hold- 
ings. It is a mooted question whether the control of these 
areas should be taken from the local boards and placed with a 
central State agency. But the selection of the administrative 
agency is of secondary importance to the need of placing the 
chosen agency in a position to go forward with a constructive 
program. Further research work should be carried on to 
make possible the distribution of these products in their fresh 
state over a greater area, and to see how far they may be 
manufactured into food commodities which can be distributed 
to all needed distances. 

With respect to the shore birds and wild fowl, certain areas 
should be set apart at suitable intervals along the coast, from 
Cape Ann to Provincetown, and on the outlying islands, to be 
permanent bird sanctuaries in which all shooting would be pro- 
hibited. They should be patrolled against poachers, and such 
vermin as is found thereon should be exterminated. Such an 
arrangement is entirely practicable without restricting un- 
reasonably the opportunities for hunting, and the taking of all 
of the most favorable grounds is not contemplated. 

To-day the land around most of our great ponds has come 
under private ownership for developing the shooting privileges, 
with the result that the opportunities for the public generally 
to shoot are being more and more restricted. Therefore it 
would be reasonable, and highly desirable, for additional fav- 
orable areas along the shore to be acquired by the State for 
public shooting grounds, where, under reasonable regulations, 
any resident of the Commonwealth who has assumed the full 
duties of citizenship may have equal opportunities for sport. 
As time goes on the benefits to be derived from establishing 
"rest days" on which no shooting would be permitted will 
undoubtedly become more apparent. Likewise the stopping of 



6 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

all shooting at noon on the days of open season will increase 
rather than diminish the number of birds actually taken in a 
season. While these birds, with the exception of the black 
duck, are migrants, and stop for a comparatively short time 
within our borders, nevertheless, with the exception perhaps of 
the geese, most of them will feed. The further development 
of the food supplies on all of these areas, as well as those under 
private control, will be an increasing factor in stopping and 
holding larger numbers of birds. There are still left many 
swamps and flooded areas along our sluggish streams, which 
are to-day the breeding grounds of large numbers of black 
ducks. It would be to the lasting benefit of the sport within 
the State were many of these areas acquired by the State and 
made permanent breeding grounds and sanctuaries. And 
inland, as well as along the shores, the substantial areas which 
are now being acquired as State forests should be supplemented 
by the acquisition of such tracts as are intended primarily for 
the use of birds and quadrupeds. 

Personnel. 
The term for which Director William C. Adams had been 
appointed expired Dec. 1, 1920. On Nov. 24, 1920, His Ex- 
cellency nominated him for reappointment for a term of three 
years. The nomination was confirmed on Dec. 1, 1920. 

Finances. 
The problem before the ways and means committee of the 
General Court of 1921 was no small one. His Excellency the 
Governor, in his budget recommendations, laid special stress 
on the alarming financial condition of the Commonwealth, — 
namely, that though the total departmental requests had been 
reduced by more than $12,000,000, the budget showed requiiV* ; 
expenditures of $17,000,000 more than estimated available r. 
ceipts. The control of the mounting costs of government was 
imperative, and drastic cuts in all departments inevitable. On 
the announcement of the budget (March 9, after over three 
months of the fiscal year had passed) an immediate review of 
the divisional finances showed a serious situation in the ap 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 7 

propriation for the propagation of game and fish, and field 
activities. 

The amount allotted for the present year's work was $82,650, 
— S3, 158.56 less than actual expenditures of 1920. We had 
been obliged to place orders for fish cans, $3,100, and trout 
eggs, $4,735.55 (the latter to replace stock killed by disease at 
the East Sandwich station). These unusual expenditures and 
the foregoing cut reduced the amount actually available for 
the remainder of the year to a sum which was $10,994.11 less 
than the previous year's expenditures. Hence in redrafting the 
financial program, in the light of the budget announcement, 
we found ourselves compelled (after making provision for run- 
ning the stations to the end of the year, said provision involving 
the most drastic cuts possible to make and still keep the plants 
going) to make no distribution of white perch, no field col- 
lections of horned pout and bass fry, and to do no work on 
wall-eyed pike or salt-water smelt. The sum set aside for 
lobster work (handling egg-bearing and short lobsters) was 
reduced 60 per cent, the allotment for fish distribution reduced 
to a minimum, and a contract for 1,500 young pheasants at 
$3,000 canceled. Two permanent employees were dropped, and 
no extra labor authorized at the stations. Despite these cuts 
it was necessary to go still further, and arrangements were 
made to close the Wilbraham game farm after July 1. Only 
through these curtailments could we keep within the amount 
appropriated. But the necessity for closing the Wilbraham 
game farm was avoided by a cancellation of certain items al- 
lowed in the budget for new construction work at other stations 
with a corresponding increase in the appropriation for fish and 
game propagation. 

So imperative was the need of keeping the State expenditures 
to the minimum that in the course of the year His Excellency 
^r>pealed to the heads of departments, urging them not only to 
^xercise care to keep within appropriations, but to turn back 
balances at the close of the year. Pursuant to this request the 
Division of Fisheries and Game turned back a total of $8,580.94, 
or 4+ per cent of the entire available funds for the year. 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov 





Available 

1920 
Balances 

and 
Amounts 
appropri- 
ated in 

1921. 


Expended 
during 1921. 


Balances 
Nov. 30, 

1921 (which 
revert to 

treasury). 


Al>proirriations for Maintenance. 








Salary of the Director 


§4,000 00 


$3,999 96 


$0 04 


68 of olliee assistants 


8,600 00 


8,314 51 


285 49 


Expenses 


11.6C0 00 


10,060 06 


1,539 94 


Exhibitions 


1,000 00 


742 18 


257 82 


Enforcement of laws: 








Persona] services 


57,000 00 


56,645 76 


354 24 


Expenses 


18,300 00 


17,236 83 


1,063 17 


Biologists : 








Personal services 


4,740 00 


4,508 22 


231 78 


Expenses 


2,400 00 


1,977 05 


422 95 


Propagation of game birds, animals and food fish 


85,650 00 


84,032 32 


1,617 68 


Marine fisheries: 








Personal services 


5,630 00 


5,085 35 


544 65 


Expenses 


1,400 00 


849 71 


550 29 




$200,320 CO 


$193,451 95 


$6,868 05 


Special Appropriations and Balances available from 1920 










$2,500 00 


- 


$2,500 00* 


Certain inprovements, etc. (chapter 225, Acts of 1920): 








Marthas Vineyard Reservation 


400 00 


$398 84 


1 16 


Montague rearing station 


537 89 


529 07 


8 82 


Palmer hatchery 


2,295 30 


2,288 88 


6 42 


Sandwich hatcheries 


106 53 


105 48 


1 05 


Wilbraham game farm 


466 35 


451 74 


14 61 


Amherst rearing station 


48 53 


45 45 


3 08 


Fishways (balance of appropriations 1918 and 1919) 


5,083 23 


4,005 48 


1,677 75 




812,037 83 


$7,824 94 


$4,212 89 


Totals for maintenance 


$200,320 00 


$193,451 95 


$6,868 05 


Totals for special purposes 


12,037 83 


7,824 94 


4,212 89 




$212,357 83 


$201,276 89 


$11,080 94 


•Available in 1922 


- 


- 


2,500 00 


Returned to general treasury 


- 


- 


S8.580 94 



1921 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



9 



The following is the revenue received resulting from the 
activities of the Division of Fisheries and Game for the fiscal 
year ending Nov. 30, 1921, and turned into the treasury of the 
Commonwealth: — 



Licenses (see analysis below) 

Sales of materials at game farms and hatcheries 

Sales of game tags 

Sales of forfeited guns . 

Sales of forfeited deer . 

Sales of forfeited ducks 

Sales of forfeited skunk skins 

Lease of Chilmark Pond 

Lease of clam flats (chapter 710, Acts of 1912) 

Interest on deposits 



$112,184 15 


141 10 


13 60 


75 00 


517 58 


20 00 


3 75 


75 00 


220 00 


12 93 


$113,263 11 



Analysis of License Returns. 



Form of License. 



Total 
| Number 
issued. 



Gross 
Value. 



Cle'rks Ret ^ to 
Clerks. gtate _ 



Resident citizen's combination at SI 


99,671 


$99,671 00 


$14,965 50 


$84,705 50 


Non-resident citizen's combination at $10 


365 


3,650 00 


54 75 


3,595 25 


Non-resident citizen's combination at $1 . 


262 


262 00 


39 30 


222 70 


Alien foreign-born combination at $15 


155 


2,325 00 


23 25 


2,301 75 


Minor trappers at 25 cents 


4,142 


1,035 50 


621 30 


414 25i 


Resident citizen's fishing at 50 cents 


44,425 


22,212 50 


6,663 75 


15,548 75 


Non-resident citizen's fishing at $1 . 


3,765 


3,765 00 


564 75 


3,200 25 


Non-resident citizen's fishing at 50 cents 


100 


50 00 


15 00 


35 00 


Alien foreign-born fishing at SI 


1,540 


1,540 00 


231 00 


1,309 00 


Lobster fisherman's at SI 


1,002 


1,002 00 


150 30 


851 70 


Totals 


155.427 


$135,513 00 


$23,328 90 


$112,184 15i 



1 Minor trappers overpaid 5 cents . 



By the increase of the fees for hunting and fishing licenses, 
to take effect Jan. 1, 1922, the income to the Commonwealth 
from this source will be considerably augmented. The present 
tendency is to regard hunting and fishing as a luxury, the bur- 
den of maintaining which should be borne in greater measure 
than is now the case by those directly benefiting. The new 
license law is the result of a recommendation of the wa.vs and 



10 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

means committee, following the request of His Excellency for 
the discovery of new sources of revenue, or the establishment 
of old activities on a self-supporting basis. 

Conference. 
More and more we realize the value of close contact between 
the men and women who are using and enjoying the wild-life 
resources and the officials administering them. The gathering 
of the sportsmen at the State House for an informal talk has 
become an annual feature, following wdiich many misunder- 
standings and fancied wrongs disappear. The natural rivalries 
of the different sections are allayed to a greater extent than 
would otherwise be the case, through personal contact and the 
discussion of common interests rather than sectional differences. 
The meeting of Jan. 7, 1921, was attended by 200 persons, and 
25 associations sent representatives. The meeting was ad- 
dressed briefly by Commissioner Bazeley, Director Adams, 
Fish Inspector Millett and State Ornithologist Forbush, each 
speaking in his particular line. The afternoon session was ad- 
dressed by Governor Channing H. Cox. The range of discus- 
sion was wide, but stress was laid chiefly on these propositions: 

Regulation of pond fishing during the months for wild-fowl shooting. 
Penalizing hunters or fishermen who damage private property. 
Restriction of winter fishing and closed seasons, and bag limits on 
certain species. 

Increase in hunting and fishing license fees. 
Regulations for open season on pheasants. 

Activities outside the State. 

The Director attended a meeting of the Advisory Committee 
to the Department of Agriculture on the Migratory Bird Treaty 
Act in Washington January 27. 

At the annual meeting of the American Game Protective 
Association in New York January 24 and 25, attended by the 
Director and by Supt. L. B. Sherman of the Marshfield bird 
farm, the latter described his method of producing pheasants 
wholly by the use of incubators and brooders, illustrated by 
motion pictures. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 11 

The conference in Washington, D. C, on June 16, for the 
consideration of measures for the prevention of water pollution 
and the protection of migratory fishes and other migratory 
marine animals through Federal control of the fisheries or 
closer co-operation between the States, called by Hon. Herbert 
Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, was attended by Inspector 
of Fish Arthur L. Millett. 

The Director and the Inspector of Fish were in attendance at 
the meetings of the American Fisheries Society September 5 
to 7, and of the International Association of Fish, Game and 
Conservation Commissioners September 8 and 9 at Allentown, 
Pa. 

The Director was delegated by His Excellency to represent 
the Commonwealth at the annual convention of the United 
States Fisheries Association at Atlantic City, N. J., September 
16 and 17. The formation of this association three years ago 
was a step of far-reaching importance to the commercial fish- 
eries industries. Its practical result has been a joining of 
forces of the members of this great industry in the common 
aim of improving conditions in all branches of the industry, 
and unity of action in place of the hitherto each-for-himself 
policy. The meeting at Atlantic City was a nation-wide gath- 
ering, at which the foundation was laid for practical plans for 
effecting improvements in the handling of fish, better organi- 
zation of the industry, increased distribution of fish, and for 
the better protection of those species which include the fishes 
of commerce. 

Associations. 

The associations interested in the sports of hunting and 
fishing number about 100, with a membership of upward of 
12,000. Their contributions to the cause this year presented no 
novel features, but comprised the usual diversity of activities, 
such as membership campaigns, lectures and publicity work, 
distribution of State-raised stock, the hatching of game and 
rearing of trout fry to fingerlings at rearing plants maintained 
by the clubs. A number of associations bought and liberated 
white hares; a good many purchased and released a portion of 
the 3,000 young pheasants for which the Division had con- 
tracted before the necessity of rigid economy became known. 



12 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Thus the covers received this stock and the Division was re- 
lieved of the obligation. Two of the clubs distributed special 
posters (mentioned in more detail in the section on posted 
land). Another (with the assistance of the Division's seining 
crew) seined certain ponds in Falmouth, redistributing in other 
local ponds the white perch thus secured. Another proffered 
the services of a number of members for construction work at 
our rearing station. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 13 



EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY. 

Following its belief in the truth of the old saying that "no 
law is stronger than the public sentiment behind it," the 
Division has pushed foward along educational lines as rapidly 
as resources, both of time and money, would permit. 

Our most effective method of arousing public interest in the 
conservation of natural resources is by stereopticon and mov- 
ing-picture lectures before fish and game associations, clubs, 
church societies and other groups of persons seeking further 
information on this important subject. 

The burden of this work falls on the central office, and during 
the year the chief warden alone has delivered 77 lectures in all 
parts of the State. Additional lecture work has been done by 
the Director and other members of the Department. The 
demands for return engagements testify to the popularity of 
this work. Many of the talks enumerated above were delivered 
before schools, and the district wardens have, whenever re- 
quested, appeared before the schools to train the young minds 
along conservation lines, and make clear the need for wild-life 
protection. 

Heretofore the lectures have been given free, but present 
financial circumstances may compel us to request the payment 
of actual traveling expenses of the lecturer. 

In the exhibition of live and mounted specimens of fish and 
game at county fairs it was necessary to limit the work to 
eight fairs, — namely, Worcester, Fitchburg, Greenfield, Spring- 
field, Xorthampton, Great Barrington and Brockton, and the 
one held within the grounds of the State Colony at Gardner. 
At the Eastern States Exposition at Springfield the fine facil- 
ities afforded in the west wing of the Massachusetts State build- 
ing, which was assigned to the Division's exclusive use, made 
a specially good showing possible. While we would be glad to 
continue and to extend this work, there are many drawbacks 
to be contended with, among which may be mentioned: the 
elimination of certain propagating activities at the stations has 
curtailed available exhibits; the exhibition of game birds or 



14 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

fish practically spoils them for breeding; the fairs are held at 
the season when the wardens (who erect and supervise the 
exhibits) should be patrolling their districts; and, last but not 
least, each exhibit entails a large expense. Therefore it would 
not be surprising if sooner or later the exhibition work were 
abandoned. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 15 



ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. 

Owing to curtailment (mentioned elsewhere) of certain 
hatchery and fish salvage operations, the wardens spent more 
time than usual in the field on law-enforcement work. This 
relief from distribution tasks meant a closer watch for viola- 
tions, and consequently more convictions before the courts. 
In general, the wardens have faced the same problems and dif- 
ficulties as in former years, but, profiting by past experiences, 
they have handled them creditably. 

Personnel. 

"Warden Fred II . Ziegler of Pittsfield (who resigned in 1920 
to enter private business) returned to the force on Jan. 1, 1921, 
greatly to the satisfaction of the Division and of the sports- 
men of the Central Berkshire District which was formerly, and 
is once more, his district. 

Raymond J. Kenney of Lowell was designated deputy chief 
warden, to assume responsible charge of law-enforcement ac- 
tivities in the absence of the chief warden. 

Harold L. Crosby of Dracut, formerly working at large, was 
assigned to a district radiating from Lowell, and Warden Ed- 
ward Babson, formerly working at large from Gloucester, was 
given a district in northern Essex County. These changes re- 
lieve other wardens of overlarge districts. Warden Elisha T. 
Ellis of North Easton is the only man "at large." On account 
of the location of his home, and the fact that he operates a 
State machine, it was considered best to leave him to assist 
the four other wardens in that locality, with whom he can 
easily work. Wardens James A. Peck, formerly of Falmouth, 
and William E. Wheeler, formerly of Fitchburg, exchanged 
districts on September 1 at their own request, and the new 
districts have proven more suited to their personal likings. 

Approximately 25 cities and towns have asked for the ap- 
pointment of wardens for their municipalities under the act 
which provides for this. A small salary is paid by the town. 
These local men have shown a creditable interest in the en- 
forcement of the fish and game laws. 



16 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Many interested persons have volunteered their services as 
wardens without pay, and some have done excellent work in 
conjunction with the regular men. Others have less time to 
devote to the work, but the fact that they hold this authority 
and are interested in the protection of wild life has had a de- 
terrent effect on would-be violators. The Division appreciates 
the spirit with which these volunteers work, even though no 
remuneration is received. The present force of volunteers, 275, 
shows an increase of 75 over last year. 

Equipment. 

The Division is pleased to acknowledge the gift of a Ford 
touring car to Warden Frederick W. Goodwin of East Boston 
by the Middlesex Sportsmen's Association of Arlington, to en- 
able him to better cover his territory. This is co-operation of 
the most practical nature. With our force badly handicapped 
by lack of transportation, gifts of this nature by the associ- 
ations constitute the finest kind of help. 

Realizing the value of independent transportation in their 
work, ten of the district wardens have provided themselves 
with cars at their own expense. The allowance which our ap- 
propriations permit us to give them is insufficient to pay run- 
ning expenses, and in their interest in the work some wardens 
have operated their cars at a loss. The use of the wardens' 
personal cars, together with the four owned by the State and 
used on law-enforcement work, demonstrates conclusively that 
without them our men are unable to cope with the motorized 
violator of to-day, or to effectively cover the outlying sections 
of their districts. 

All wardens are now supplied with standardized revolvers, 
handcuffs, field glasses and other necessary police articles and 
personal equipment. 

Co-operation. 
We acknowledge with thanks the assistance received from 
the Department of Public Safety through the use of the steamer 
"Lotus," under the command of Capt. Frank G. Wright. 
Operations were principally along the North Shore and in 
Lynn Harbor, where many complaints had been received of 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 17 

persistent unlawful seining and torching by alien fishermen. 
On October 19, after several attempts unsuccessful on account 
of mishaps and weather conditions, a number of wardens, work- 
ing with Warden Thomas L. Burney, took three boats with 
their crews into custody. The next day the captain of each of 
the three boats agreed to pay a fine of $50, and the cases 
against the members of the crew were placed on file. Without 
the assistance of Captain Wright and his boat, and the help of 
P. C. Saunders, harbor master of Lynn, this accomplishment 
would have been impossible. During the raid Mr. Saunders' 
boat was badly damaged. We gladly give Messrs. Wright and 
Saunders the lion's share of the credit for stopping this form 
of violation. 

This incident, taken with many other violations along the 
shore, emphasizes the need of a boat to be owned and operated 
by the Division. Without one we can never hope to effectively 
enforce the laws along the waterfront. This is not meant in 
any way as a criticism of the Department of Public Safety, for 
they have unselfishly given assistance on request whenever pos- 
sible, but they cannot be expected to forsake their duties when- 
ever called on to lend a hand in our work. 

With the advent of the new State Police patrol into the field 
of law-enforcement work, more co-operation is to be looked for. 
On October 25 the chief warden addressed the members at their 
barracks at Framingham on the enforcement of the fish and 
game laws, and the troop commander gave assurances of their 
willingness to help. 

It is a great satisfaction to observe the excellent support re- 
ceived by our wardens from the courts, where it is being realized 
more and more that prosecutions are made only as a last resort 
to preserve wild life and uphold the laws. This co-operation is 
a source of much satisfaction to an officer who has worked, 
perhaps, long hours to apprehend a persistent violator. 

As time goes on, too, it is found that a greater degree of co- 
operation is being received from the public as a whole. With 
only thirty-one men to cover the length and breadth of the 
State, it is necessary that every citizen who prides himself on 
his public spirit should report all violations coming to his 
notice. And, considering the large territory covered by our 



18 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



men and the handicaps under which they labor, it is unfair to 
criticise their work unless this assistance is forthcoming. Such 
information is always held strictly confidential. In addition to 
reporting violations, a sportsman having the interests of the 
wild life sincerely at heart should be willing to testify in court 
as to violations committed in his presence, for many weeks of 
watchful waiting on the part of the officer might be required to 
get evidence of the same violation by the same party a second 
time. Every true sportsman prides himself on observing the 
laws to the letter, and the man who takes part in bringing the 
offender to justice need never fear that the best type of sports- 
man and citizen will consider it a blot on his reputation. 
United public sentiment behind any law or group of laws is 
much more effective than to police the State with a thousand men. 



Court Cases. 

Classified Court Cases, 1921 





-6 

a> 

to 

a 
1 

co 

C 


i 

1 

1 

o 


SO 
O 
CO 

3 

s 

3 


Disposition. 


Violations. 


-6 

! 

.2 
P 


73 

a 

6 


T3 

.2 

i 

< 




Aliens with firearms 


$1,160 


$5 


30 


1 


29 


- 


6 


Assault on officer .... 


25 


- 


2 


1 


1 


- 


- 


Interfering with officer . 


10 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Birds. 
















Protected at all times 


251 


- 


22 


1 


21 


i 


1 


Taking eggs from nest . 


70 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Quail, close season 


10 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Partridge, close season . 


20 


- 


2 


1 


1 


- 


- 


Pheasants, close season . 


60 


- 


5 


- 


5 


i 


- 


Waterfowl, close season . 


140 


- 


10 


- 


10 


- 


3 


Snaring birds .... 


120 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


- 


Sale of game birds 


- 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


1 


Game. 
















Deer, close season .... 


275 


24 


15 


5 


10 


- 


5 


Using rifle during deer week . 


25 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Rabbits, close season 


5 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Rabbits, ferreting .... 


35 


15 


10 


3 


7 


- 


4 


Rabbits, removing from hole . 


10 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


2 



1921.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 



19 



Classified Court Cases, 1921 — Continued. 





Fines imposed. 


73 

i 

8 


I 

■8° 

U 

e 

3 


Disposition. 


Violations. 


73 

! 

.2 


73 

% 


73 

a 

c 

< 


73 

O 


Game — Con. 
















Rabbits, exceeding bag limit . 


$10 


- 


2 




2 


- 


1 


Squirrels, close season 


45 


- 


5 


- 


5 


- 


2 


Raccoons, close season . 


20 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Skunks, close season 


10 


- 


2 


1 


1 


- 


- 


Muskrats, close season 


10 


- 


2 


" 


2 


- 


1 


General {Game). 
















Hunting without license 


573 


S15 


60 


5 


55 




11 


Hunting on posted land 


27 


- 


6 


1 


5 


1 


2 


Hunting on reservations 


50 


- 


11 


1 


10 


- 


3 


Hunting on Lord's Day 


410 


- 


61 


4 


57 


1 


18 


Hunting license, transferring . 


10 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 




Hunting license, securing by false 

statements. 
Hunting license, refusing to show . 


115 
10 


_ 


7 

1 


_ 


7 


1 


_ 


Trapping, name not on trap . 


40 


- 


9 


- 


9 


- 


5 


Trapping, without permit 


15 


- 


4 


- 


4 


.- 


2 


Trapping, illegal traps . 


30 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Trapping, with scented bait . 


- 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


1 


Carrying firearms without permit . 


100 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Fish. 
















Bass, close season .... 


5 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


1 


Bass, short 


40 


- 


5 


- 


5 


- 


- 


White perch, short .... 


132 


- 


6 


2 


4 


- 


- 


Yellow perch, bag limit exceeded . 


45 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Trout, close season .... 


20 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Trout, short 


86 


- 


10 


- 


10 


- 


- 


Pickerel, close season 


10 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


1 


Pickerel, short .... 


28 


- 


9 


- 


9 


- 


2 


Herring, taking without a permit . 


15 


- 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Lobsters. 
















Lobsters, short .... 


829 


- 


19 


2 


17 


2 


- 


Interfering with traps 


- 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


2 


Not marking car .... 


45 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


1 



20 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Classified Court Cases, 1921 — Concluded. 





«d 

e 

CO 

o 
a 
| 

S 

c 


•d 

9 
co 
O 

a 
| 

CO 

co 

6 


oo 

QJ 
to 
eS 

■so 
a 


Disposition. 


Violations. 


"d 

DO 

c« 

g 

5 


> 

o 
O 


a 


-3 


Lobsters — Con. 
















Fishing without license . 


$95 


- 


15 


- 


15 


- 


6 


Fishing outside of own county 


- 


- 


2 


- 


2 


- 


2 


Buoys not branded 


- 


- 


20 


- 


20 


- 


20 


General (Fish). 
















Mackerel, underweight . 


100 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


- 


Smelt, close season .... 


97 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Scallops, close season 


60 


- 


4 


- 


4 


- 


- 


Larceny of fish .... 


- 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Fishing in fresh water other than 

by hook and line. 
Seining in fresh water 


50 
15 


- 


6 
3 


1 


5 

3 


- 


- 


Fishing without license . 


638 


$20 


101 


3 


98 


- 


20 


Torching in salt water . 


150 


- 


3 


- 


3 


- 


- 


Using more than ten hooks . 


80 


- 


4 


- 


4 


1 


- 


Total 


$6,231 


$79 


523 


32 


491 


8 


123 



The large number of cases may be attributed to the greater 
time the wardens were able to spend in the field and the large 
number of people out of employment, who thus had leisure to 
roam the woods and turn to the natural food supply of fish and 
game, as did their forefathers in times gone by. However, in 
few cases were the violations committed through sheer need of 
food. Fish and game laws being for the good of all, must be 
observed by all accordingly. 

It is difficult to single out the work of one warden as sur- 
passing that of another, but some of the more important cases 
are sketched briefly. 

On December 1 Warden Tribou, assisted by Warden Leonard 
and unpaid warden Cranton, apprehended John Imhof, Charles 
P. Willey and Charles F. Scotton, all of Bridgewater, for il- 
legally killing deer. Each was fined $50 by Judge Charles C. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 21 

King in the Brockton court. For carrying a rifle while hunt- 
ing deer, Roger Sweet of Pittsfield paid a fine of $25 in the 
court of Judge Bart Bossidy of Lee, on complaint of Warden 
Sargood on December 20. 

Intent on cleaning out the source of many violations and 
complaints in the past, Warden Peck visited Waquoit on Feb- 
ruary 5, and arrested Freeman and Thornton Adams and 
Donald Coffin for killing ducks in close season. They were 
fined $20 each by Judge Frederick Swift of Barnstable. Since 
then fewer complaints have come from that section. This 
matter was also reported to the Federal authorities for their 
action. 

The pernicious practice of ferreting rabbits cost Thomas J. 
Lyons of Pittsfield $10 when Wardens Ziegler and Sargood 
haled him before Judge C. L. Hibbard at Pittsfield on Jan- 
uary 12. 

William Tracy of Westfield "took a chance" on killing a deer 
on February 17, but Wardens Monahan, McCarthy and Hatch 
were at hand, and it cost him $50 to learn from Judge W. S. 
Kellogg of Westfield the laws regarding deer. Frank O'Laksak 
of the same town paid $35 for hunting without a license, and 
another $25 for furnishing Tracy with transportation for his 
illegal act. 

Wardens Steele and Ellis apprehended Alphonso Petzi at 
Weymouth with dead ducks on February 8, and he was fined 
$20 by Judge Albert E. Avery at Quincy, after stating that he 
killed the birds with snowballs. Frank Petzi paid the same 
fine for the same offence, even though he resorted to the old- 
fashioned method of using a gun. 

Solomon and Henry Rosenblum of Worcester were appre- 
hended on June 28, by Wardens Macker and Snell, each with 
ten short white perch, and were penalized $52 apiece by Judge 
W T m. E. Fowler of Westborough, from which finding they ap- 
pealed. 

On August 28 George F. Pearson of Lowell was apprehended 
by Warden Backus at Littleton with 17 short pickerel, and was 
fined $17 by Judge Warren A. Atwood at Aver. On September 
3, contrary to law, he secured another license in Lowell and 
commenced fishing again, but his sport in defiance of the law 



22 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

was short-lived, for on September 17 Warden Crosby appre- 
hended him at North Chelmsford, and his indiscretion cost him 
$10, together with the loss of his license again. 

Judge Sumner D. York of Gloucester fined Charles E. Nor- 
wood of that city $25 for killing a pheasant during close season, 
and $25 more for making false statements to secure a license. 
Warden Grant brought this man before the bar. 

On September 28 Joseph Divard of North Dana was arrested 
by W T arden Shea for having two raccoons during the close 
season, and he was fined $20 by Judge H. C. Davis of Ware. 
It appeared in the course of the trial that this man had been 
driven out of the State of Connecticut for infractions of the 
game laws. 

W T arden Babson of Gloucester, together with city police of- 
ficers, arrested Nero Caradona, Jack Caruso, John Destinn and 
Sam Sheranetero in Gloucester Harbor on August 30 for seining 
spike mackerel, and Judge York fined them $25 each. 

The pernicious habit of snaring song and game birds still pre- 
vails among aliens. On October 14 Warden Charles E. Tribou, 
assisted by Warden Leonard, found a 40 by 7 foot net in the 
woods at West Bridgewater, and Frank Teboni of that town 
paid $25 for the offence. The same officers, after a long vigil, 
apprehended Samuel Sanlen of Brockton while he was setting 
and tending snares near Brockton. He was fined $25 for the 
offence by Judge King of Brockton, and $20 for hunting with- 
out a license. This man led the wardens over a mile course 
before they laid hands on him. Edward Dallo of Huntington 
tried the same thing, but his snaring activities cost him $20 on 
complaint of Wardens Monahan, Hatch and McCarthy. 

Late in October Warden Goodwin apprehended Pasquale 
Scalero of Boston who was snaring in Lincoln. He had in his 
possession 29 dead song birds and 4 live birds, which were 
used as decoys, together with two 25-foot nets and a gun. 
Judge Prescott Keyes of Concord taxed him $140, and con- 
fiscated all his illegal gear. 

On October 20 Warden Mecarta, assisted by unpaid Warden 
H. R. Cahoon, arrested Robert B. Nash, Richmond T. Nash, 
George H. Bicknell and Wallace H. Bicknell, all of Weymouth, 
in a camp at Barnstable while they were gunning on Sunday. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 23 

It cost them $10 each. Their companions, Charles B. Reilly 
and Charles S. Bicknell, were discharged as having taken no 
part in the illegal work. 

LoBvSter Laws. 

It appears that the lobster laws are being well observed 
along our shores at the present time. Only one lobster license 
was revoked this year because of a second conviction, — that 
of Robert Cushman of Duxbury, apprehended by Wardens 
Tribou and Leonard on September 5 for having short lobsters. 
This speaks well for the lobster fishermen. 

Chapter 116, enacted this year, restores to certain of the 
aliens who have fished for the past five years the right to ob- 
tain a license. That right had been denied them under a law 
passed in 1920. 

Among the more interesting lobster cases may be mentioned 
that of Arthur R. Cornell of Westport, who was surprised by 
Wardens Lowe and Peck just as he was about to supply the 
members of a well-known lodge with 145 short lobsters. Judge 
Frank A. Milliken of New Bedford fined him $100. 

Frank Gove of Nahant was found by Wardens Burney and 
Goodwin with 35 short lobsters, and after trial before Judge 
Southwick of Nahant he paid $52 on September 29. On Sep- 
tember 6 the same officers haled Thomas Hogan of Salem be- 
fore Judge George B. Sears of Salem, by whom he was fined 
$51 for seventeen "shorts." Forty-five undersized lobsters cost 
Herman L. Marchant of Gloucester $94, and 40 of the little 
fellows cost Fred W. Riley of the same city $74, when W T arden 
Grant and unpaid wardens Sargent and Thurston summonsed 
them before Judge York, sitting at Gloucester. 

After a lively struggle Warden Peck arrested W T alter E. 
Nickerson on July 16 with short lobsters, and he was fined $50, 
while Robert L. Newton of Marshfield, on complaint of Wardens 
Steele and Ellis, was fined $156 by Judge Harry B. Davis at 
Plymouth, with an additional $10 for not marking his car. The 
same officers found A. H. Taylor of Marshfield with 19 shorts, 
and he paid $57. 

On complaints received early in the season, that illegal lob- 
ster fishing was going on in Cuttyhunk waters, Warden Seaman, 



24 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

assisted by Wardens Macker, Steele and Ellis, visited that 
locality and arrested six men for fishing without licenses. 
Since that time no complaints have been received on this score. 
During March, April and May a dozen wardens, under 
direction of Warden Goodwin, inspected the lobster shipments 
which come to Boston twice weekly from Nova Scotia and 
the Maritime Provinces. In the course of these inspections 
they seized and liberated at different points along the shore 
some 22,000 short lobsters. This is undoubtedly one of our 
most important activities with reference to the lobster industry, 
resulting, as it does, in heavily stocking our waters each year. 

License Laws. 

During the past year 87 resident combination licenses and 
14 resident fishing licenses were revoked after conviction of the 
holders in court. Taking into consideration the large number 
of licenses issued yearly, the proportion of violations to the 
number of hunters is not so great as might be imagined. 

Only one alien license (fishing) was revoked, but 30 un- 
naturalized, foreign-born persons were charged before the 
courts with having firearms in their possession. In each case 
the weapon was confiscated. The year's accumulation was dis- 
posed of in one lot for $75, indicating that it is only the very 
cheap guns which the aliens buy and hunt with. The number 
of cases is not large, considering that our foreign population is 
substantial, and that these people have a natural longing, in 
common with our citizen gunners, to go afield with dog and 
gun. But on this point we adhere to our position, stated in 
previous reports, that the privilege of exploiting the natural 
resources of the State should be denied to aliens who are un- 
willing to assume the obligations of citizenship. 

There were 60 persons who "took a chance" on hunting 
without a license, while 101 went fishing in stocked waters 
without first having registered. While last year the Division 
was lenient in enforcing the new law, at this date the fishing 
license requirements are well known, and violations are being 
rigidly prosecuted. 

During the year we accepted the surrender of three licenses 
held by minors under eighteen who had broken the laws, on 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 25 

their agreement to refrain from hunting or fishing for a year. 
This was deemed a better policy than to give these young men 
a court record early in their career. 

Federal Regulations. 
Our wardens have been alert to detect violations of the Fed- 
eral regulations relative to migratory birds, and on several 
occasions, particularly at the opening of the shore bird season, 
they have worked in conjunction with the United States Game 
Warden for this district, Mr. Albert E. Stadlmeir of Provi- 
dence, R. I. While all the State wardens are duly appointed 
Federal wardens, their duties end when they have reported to 
the authorities in Washington any violations which come under 
their observation. All prosecutions for violations of the Fed- 
eral laws are entered in court through the United States So- 
licitor-General's office, on order of the authorities in Washing- 
ton, and not by the wardens. This co-operation between the 
Federal and the State forces has resulted in increased protec- 
tion for the migratory birds. In enforcing the State law on the 
migratory species one of the most perplexing problems is the 
apparent inability on the part of many shore-bird and wild- 
fowl gunners to distinguish the different species, with the result 
that annually a certain number of protected birds are killed. 
There is always, too, the latent possibility of killing protected 
species unwittingly, for it is not unusual to find such in the 
flocks of birds which may legally be killed. The policy of the 
division is to be very cautious in accepting such explanations 
as excuse for the killing of protected species, and those who 
hunt would be wise to familiarize themselves with the different 
species and to use great care when shooting. 

Revised Laws. 
For the first time in four years, during which period the 
Joint Special Committee on the Consolidating and Arranging 
the General Laws was recodifying the statutes, we were able 
to publish booklets giving the complete text of the laws relative 
to fisheries and game. 



26 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Legislation. 
The sixteen new laws relative to fish and game enacted by 
the General Court of 1921 were, briefly: — 

Chapter 24, empowering local authorities to grant permits for con- 
struction of weirs, pound nets or fish traps in tidewater anywhere within 
their town jurisdiction. 

Chapter 25, regulating beam trawling in Menemsha Pond. 

Chapter 55, authorizing the Director of Fisheries and Game to issue 
permits to any responsible person to destro3 r vermin within reservations 
established under chapter 131, General Laws, Sections 69 to 75. 

Chapter 58, permitting capture of eels in Hingham Harbor, laws to 
the contrary notwithstanding. 

Chapter 75, removing age limit with respect to ornithological permits. 

Chapter 90, prohibiting liberation of sick or diseased birds or quadru- 
peds, and requiring approval of Director of Fisheries and Game for lib- 
eration of any propagated stock (other than live decoys). 

Chapter 107, empowering the Governor to extend the open season on 
pheasants, partridge, woodcock, quail and squirrels for a period equiva- 
lent to the time he may have suspended the open season on account of 
drouth. 

Chapter 116, making it possible for certain aliens to secure lobster- 
fishing licenses. 

Chapter 121, correcting an error in the muskrat law, legalizing capture 
by trap only from March 1 to April 10, and eliminating spring shooting 
of muskrats. 

Chapter 152, making special seasons on hares and rabbits in Dukes 
and Nantucket counties. 

Chapter 159, permitting sale, under license, of European or gray 
partridge. 

Chapter 188, establishing catch limits on bass, pickerel, horned pout, 
yellow perch and wall-eyed pike, and restricting sale of same. 

Chapter 197, lengthening the closed season on bass and increasing the 
legal length. 

Chapter 224, increasing legal length of pickerel and regulating capture, 
possession and sale. 

Chapter 257, providing reimbursements by the commonwealth for 
damage caused by wild moose. 

Chapter 467, providing for increased fees for hunting and fishing 
licenses, and including women in the operation of the license law. 

The recommendations made to the Legislature of 1922 for 
changes in the fish and game laws will be found in the 
Appendix. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 27 



BIOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT. 

General. 
The year's activities were divided between research work 
confined to the laboratory and libraries, and a limited amount 
of field work having to do principally with the study of fish 
disease in connection with the problems at the East Sand- 
wich and the Palmer fish hatcheries, and the surveying and 
biological study of the fishways. 

Personnel. 
Mr. Leslie J. Gilbride, who resigned on September 15, has 
been succeeded by Miss Gwendolyn Perkins. 

Reports. 
Papers upon fish investigations are available for publication 
but lack of funds has rendered this impossible during the present 
year. 

Survey of Inland Waters. 
During the year some consideration was given to the avail- 
ability of streams for the propagation of brown trout, requiring 
additional surveys of the Westfield River, the Konkapot River, 
the Ware River and the Manhan River near Easthampton. A 
preliminary investigation was made on the status of Newton 
Pond, Shrewsbury. There are a number of ponds throughout 
the Commonwealth, the exact size, and therefore the exact 
status of which, remains in question (jurisdiction as to fishing 
being held in only those containing 20 acres in their natural 
state). It is our purpose from time to time to determine our 
jurisdiction over waters concerning which there is question. 
Such cases, for example, were Crooked Pond, Falmouth, and 
Coy's Pond, Wenham, surveys of which were made, at the re- 
quest of this Division, by the Division of Waterways and Public 
Lands. By these surveys their status as great ponds was 
established. 



28 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Smelt. 
Owing to the lack of funds to provide a sufficient field force, 
no further studies were made on the spawning habits or arti- 
ficial propagation of the smelt, excepting such work as was done 
at the field station at Hingham, discussed under "Inland Fish- 
eries." 

Alewife. 
Work on the alewife was confined to advising and assisting 
in the transportation of adult alewives from certain streams to 
old and new breeding grounds. (See "Alewives " in the sec- 
tion on "Marine Fisheries.") 

Bird Diseases. 

No problems of bird disease were brought to our attention 
except such as resulted from contact by the birds with oil waste 
on the waters. This problem is discussed under " Destruc- 
tive Agencies " in the section on " Wild Birds and Animals." 

Two of the swans, mentioned elsewhere as having been killed 
at our orders because tarry oil waste had so matted their 
feathers that they could not lead a normal existence, were re- 
ceived for autopsy. The findings, negative as regards disease, 
showed a poorly nourished condition, evidently due to the in- 
ability of the birds to obtain sufficient nourishment. The 
plumage, particularly on the underside of the body, was cov- 
ered with a dark, tarry, adhesive material, which bound the 
feathers together in mass, not only causing an unsightly ap- 
pearance, but preventing the bird from preening itself, and 
depriving it of its ability to maintain its body temperature 
through feather protection. Although unusual, a similar case 
has been reported during the past in England, where swans 
were covered with an oily trade waste and permanently dis- 
abled. 

While much of the disappearance of ruffed grouse has been 
generally attributed to disease, our limited field force has made 
it impracticable for us to carry on any studies by which to 
prove or disprove this theory. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 29 



Fish Disease. 
Further studies were made in fish septicaemia, commonly called 
Furunculosis, which became an epidemic at the East Sandwich 
hatchery in 1920, when its study was first undertaken. This 
disease has been isolated from wild fish (pickerel), in one of 
the inland lakes of the Commonwealth, and is not confined, as 
originally believed, to fish under artificial conditions as in 
hatcheries. Improved methods of rapid diagnosis have enabled 
us to quickly bring the disease under control, with prospects of 
completely eliminating it at an early date in the hatchery 
where it has appeared. A general review of all fish diseases 
has been made, and the salient facts of the various investiga- 
tions (mostly in foreign countries) relative to fish diseases have 
been condensed into form available for ready use. This has 
necessitated much reading and bibliographic research. 

Pollution. 

Observations were made on the conditions in the Merrimack 
River, not for the purpose of isolating and analyzing the dif- 
ferent types of pollution, but rather to determine whether any 
fish would frequent these waters in their present state of defile- 
ment, and to observe something of the fish life in the river. 
As stated elsewhere, the belief has been general that the condi- 
tion of this river was such that no migratory fish would fre- 
quent it. This has proven to be erroneous by the presence of 
alewives in the fishway at Lawrence during the past spring. 

An investigation of conditions in the Aberjona River was 
also begun. 

Further report on pollution appears in the section on that 
mbject under " Inland Fisheries." 



30 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS. 
Winter Feeding. 

There was little occasion for feeding the stock in the wild, 
for the winter of 1920-21 was an open one, with little snow or 
cold weather until the end of December, 1920. Though there 
was a foot of snow in the Berkshire Hills during the deer 
season (Dec. 6 to 11, 1920) there was no State-wide snowfall 
until December 27, and the first real storm of the winter 
(about 16 inches, pretty general over the State) did not come 
until Feb. 20, 1921. A severe northeast gale drifted the snow 
badly, but, being very light and dry, the effect on the wild 
stock was not more serious than to temporarily cut off the food 
supply. The remainder of the winter was favorable for the 
wild stock. A limited amount of scratch feed (223 allotments, 
totaling 2,000 pounds) was sent to volunteer workers to be 
available in case of emergency. Cost of feed and express, 
S245.59. 

The public has been instructed that our purpose is not to 
supply food to the birds in the winter except when the stock 
is in extremis. They have been cautioned not to use the feed 
on any other occasion. 

Fires. 

Forest fires, especially those in the spring, have a direct 
bearing on the natural increase of birds and game by killing 
the helpless young and destroying nesting sites. In these days 
of better fire control this danger is minimized. Nevertheless, 
considerably more land was burned over this year than last, 
according to the figures of the State Fire Warden. 

Last year during the open season the excessive dryness of 
the vegetation and the large number of fires made it necessary 
to suspend the open season. As the gunning season approached 
this year conditions more or less paralleled those of last year. 
The covers were very dry, but, with the belief that the public 
was sufficiently well informed of the dangers and the precau- 
tions necessary, His Excellency permitted the season to open, 
after having pointed out the dangers in a forcefully worded 



1921.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



31 



warning on the subject. Subsequent developments justified his 
action, for but few fires occurred during the period from Octo- 
ber 20 to 25, after which rainfalls removed the menace to a 
very great degree. 

Posted Land. 

Little can be added to what has been said in previous years 
on this subject. Far too large a portion of the hunting area 
of the State is closed, in sheer self-defence, by the owners, who 
have suffered inconvenience and money loss through the care- 
less use of their property by gunners. We have for years 
preached the doctrine of respect for the rights of landowners, 
and last year recommended a law penalizing any person who, 
in the act of hunting, trapping or fishing, wilfully destroys or 
injures the property of another. Our recommendation was re- 
ferred to the next annual session. 

Two of the gunning clubs working with the landowners, 
posted their localities with signs which are worth quoting : ■ — 



ATTENTION 

SPORTSMEN 



Please use care as to 

FENCES and FIRES 

as you are allowed on these premises 
through kindness of the owner. 

EASTHAMPTON FISH AND GAME ASSOCIATION. 



32 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



SPORTSMEN 

Privilege to Fish or Hunt 
DEPENDS ON YOU 

1. Respect the rights of the owner of this property. He is a 
good fellow, or it would be posted. 

2. Make good any damage you do, and report that done by 
others. You may want to come again. 

3. Don't throw away a lighted match, cigar or cigarette. Aid 
in fire prevention. 

4. Obey and assist in enforcement of fish and game laws of 
the Commonwealth. Notify nearest game warden of violations. 

5. There are two kinds of sportsmen — the regular guy and 
the piker. Where do you fit? It is a decided compliment to 
be known in your community as a clean sportsman. Wear your 
membership button with credit to yourself and your club. 

THE PENALTY 
Increasing annual loss of open fishing and hunting in the 
Commonwealth largely due to the MISCONDUCT of the PIKER. 

FIFTY-FIFTY 

The farmer supplies the streams and covers. You are taking 
from both. What are you giving him in return? Join a Rod 
and Gun Club and assist in restocking his streams and covers. 

PAPER CITY ROD AND GUN CLUB 

Holyoke, Mass., M. A. MacDowell, Secy. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 33 

Breeding Season. 
The weather in the early months of 1921 was unseasonable 
and erratic. Spring temperatures prevailed in March and 
warm weather in early April, which started vegetation before its 
normal time. Following this warm period came cold winds 
and low temperatures, and the local frosts which occurred from 
time to time checked the prematurely started vegetation. 
Sharp drops in temperature were common. Nevertheless, 
when the breeding period of the game birds was actually under 
way, weather conditions, with a few local exceptions, were all 
that could be desired. The season can be characterized as 
excellent, with good broods of strong birds. Naturally, in 
those sections where the brood stocks are badly depleted, the 
production at best would be numerically small. Heavy rains 
and flooded conditions during the last days of June undoubt- 
edly destroyed some of the young. The mild temperatures in 
the early months had the effect of somewhat hastening the 
breeding season to about two weeks ahead of the usual time. 

Migratory Birds. 
Song and Insectivorous Birds. 

Permits were issued to 74 individuals for the collection of 
birds, eggs and nests for scientific purposes. Sixty-seven re- 
ports on these permits were made; 415 birds were reported as 
collected, and 438 eggs; average number of birds taken per 
person, based on number or reports, 6 + ; average number of 
eggs taken per person, 6 + . 

Apart from regulation of collectors' activities and the en- 
forcement of the protective laws, our greatest contribution to 
the welfare of these species, which add so greatly to the at- 
tractiveness of the outdoors in addition to their incalculable 
service in the control of noxious insects, is our co-operation 
with the Audubon Society in the maintenance of the Moose Hill 
Sanctuary, described in another part of the report. Similarly, 
all reservations controlled by the Department of Conservation 
serve as sanctuaries. 

We have had under investigation the matter of bringing 
back the purple martin. Considerable data have been collected, 



34 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

in the hope that eventually this beautiful as well as valuable 
insectivorous bird may be restored to the numbers which pre- 
vailed prior to the disastrous storms in the breeding seasons of 
1903 and 1904. 

Migratory Game Birds. 

Shore Birds. — The spring migration covered the usual 
period, though some species started a little early. As is indi- 
cated elsewhere, some species were fewer in number and some 
greater, while the total flight indicated an improvement in the 
numbers. The summer and fall flight was usual, with an ap- 
preciable increase in the number of the smaller species. During 
the first two or three days there was good shooting on the birds 
for which an open season is provided. This condition seems to 
be an annual feature. The birds come along slowly and col- 
lect in substantial numbers in the most favorable localities, so 
that by the time the season opens, on the 16th of August, good 
shooting is assured for a day or two. Then usually follows a 
week or ten days with very few birds in flight, and from then 
on they keep a more or less irregular movement. 

Black-breasted Plover. — The spring migration was light, 
fewer birds being observed on the usual range. On some por- 
tions of the north shore, noticeably in and around Ipswich, a 
slightly greater number of birds than usual was reported. The 
summer and fall migration brought a light flight of birds. On 
the opening day of the shooting season, August 16, very few 
were taken along the entire coast. Through the following 
weeks there were no conditions to bring a sizeable flight, the 
birds moving along in small numbers. It is hoped that suc- 
ceeding years will work favorable changes in the numbers of 
these handsome birds; otherwise serious consideration will have 
to be given to a closed season. 

Golden Plover. — Golden plover were noted in a number of 
localities, but only a comparatively few birds. So few people 
are familiar with the characteristics of this bird which dis- 
tinguish it from the black-breasted plover that it is difficult to 
obtain an insight to the true situation. The significant thing is, 
that not enough have appeared to make the fact noteworthy, 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 35 

and the only reasonable inference is that if the birds are in- 
creasing it is at a very slow rate. 

Upland Plover. — ■ The upland plover still exists on a re- 
stricted range. Within that range during the past year there 
was some slight increase. Eight birds in one flock were ob- 
served on the south side of Marthas Vineyard. It is always 
dangerous to attempt to estimate the number of birds on a 
given range by using as a basis the numbers found in most 
favorable localities for as long as there are any birds of a given 
species left, some will always be found in such a region. The 
upland plover is apt to be found in scattering numbers through- 
out the State over many years, but it is not likely that it will 
ever increase in such numbers as to be called plentiful. 

Killdeer Plover. — The killdeer plover was reported in more 
localities than common. More interest than usual was shown 
in the bird because of its interesting personality, its lively ways, 
and wider distribution. It was reported in a number of local- 
ities on Cape Cod, on the North Shore and inland. Two pairs 
were reported as breeding within the limits of Belmont. The 
reports on the fall movement indicated a more liberal . sprink- 
ling of the birds over the eastern part of the State as compared 
with previous years. 

Piping Plover. — Piping plover seems to be slightly on the 
increase. It is a bird unfamiliar to many for the reason that it 
inhabits the bolder shores. Few of the shore birds have more 
interesting mating antics or are more attractive and beautiful 
in the breeding season, and any observer would be well repaid 
for special efforts to follow them in the spring. The migration 
was usual. 

Jack, or Wilson's, Snipe. — The spring migration was normal; 
the fall flight heavier than usual. The Jack snipe is becoming 
more in favor as a game bird, no doubt because of a noticeable 
increase in numbers. This bird has shown greater gain than 
any other species. 

Woodcock. — The spring migration was a little earlier than 
usual, with a heavier flight of birds. The fall flight, while not 
characterized by arrivals of large numbers of birds in short 
spaces of time, as occasionally happens, was marked by a rather 
steady migration. Every year a great deal of dissatisfaction 



36 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

is expressed, for the reason that most of our native woodcock 
migrate before the season opens. In recent years an excep- 
tionally dry period at the beginning of the shooting season has 
induced the native birds to move on, and afforded little at- 
traction to the advance guard to the flight. But all through 
the season of 1921 woodcock were found over the entire State 
and afforded a great deal of good sport. The flight along the 
shore and in the Cape Cod region was heavier than for a 
number of years. 

Dowitcher. — There is not a sufficient number of dowitchers 
appearing in the annual flight every spring or fall to make a 
satisfactory comparison from year to year. They came mingled 
with other shore birds, and a fair conclusion, based on the 
number of reports, is that the birds were noted more times 
both in the spring and fall flights than during the past two or 
three years. 

Sandpipers. — The spotted sandpipers are well distributed over 
the State and enjoyed a good breeding season. They arrived 
and departed at about the usual time. 

Least Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper. — The num- 
ber of birds returning on the fall flight was heavier than usual. 

Yellowlegs. — Both the summer and the winter yellowlegs 
made an early spring migration, with the winter yellowlegs 
supplying the heavier proportion. The fall flight of summer 
yellowlegs appeared about the usual time, affording very good 
shooting on the opening day, August 16. Comparatively few 
were taken during the following week or ten days, but there- 
after additional birds appeared, supplying fair sport until the 
flight was over. There was a scattering of winter yellowlegs 
present on the opening day, but the heavier flights occurred 
later in the season, a little heavier than usual toward its close. 

Willet. — Very few willet were reported, which would seem 
to support our earlier forecast that the bird is having great 
difficulty in holding its own. 

Hudsonian Curlew. ■ — The favorable report of last year was 
bettered this year, for more Hudsonian curlew were noted along 
the shore than has been the case for a number of years. 
Whether the slightly larger numbers noted last year and this 
year indicate a gradual increase in the species is difficult to 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 37 

say. But it is heartening to observe an increased number of 
these larger shore birds. 

Godwit. — Comments on the godwit would parallel those of 
the dowitcher. While the bird has been noted in flights of 
shore birds, it has not increased sufficiently to make its num- 
bers significant in any flight. 

Water Fowl. ■ — The wild fowl and shore birds have consid- 
erable in common with respect to the conditions affecting the 
seasons of migration; that is to say, an early season for one 
group generally means an early seasonal movement by all 
groups. As time goes on certain elementary principles are 
being more and more demonstrated. Such a one, for example, 
is that the wild fowl will stay in localities where there is suf- 
ficient food and absence of persistent disturbance, even though 
other conditions may not be so favorable as could be found in 
other localities. Our coast and marsh area continues to be 
occupied by increasing numbers of wild fowl as a wintering 
zone. For example, more bluebills, red-heads and geese stayed 
with us during the past winter than has been the case for a 
number of years. It is also fair to assume that there is a 
substantial number of birds which will make the minimum 
rather than the maximum migration. With the removal of 
spring shooting there has been a noticeable addition to the 
number of birds breeding in the State, which may easily be 
accounted for by the foregoing proposition. 

Wood Buck. • — The wood duck is slowly on the increase in 
the areas still remaining in the State suitable for it. What has 
been said as to breeding grounds of such birds as the rail can 
well be said of the wood duck. But the future of any such 
species in a State like ours cannot be regarded as favorable, 
unless steps are taken to insure the maintenance of suitable 
breeding grounds. However, the fact that this duck is in- 
creasing generally throughout the United States argues that the 
species will be represented here for years to come. 

Mallard Duck. - — Some little evidence still remains of the 
efforts to propagate this species, for small flocks have been 
reported here and there, together with a few of the wild birds 
which came this way on their migration. But the mallard, 
along with certain other odd species, such as the pin-tail and 



38 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

teal, are a very small factor as a sporting proposition in this 
State. 

Red-head. ■ — The red-heads made their appearance very early 
in the year, and continued to come up to the early part 
of March. The spring flight was a little heavier than usual in 
the localities where the red-heads come. During the fall flight 
but few birds came into the State as compared with the much 
heavier flights of recent years. It is perplexing to know just 
what is taking place with reference to the red-heads. It may 
be failure of food or other unfavorable conditions of which we 
have no definite knowledge, or it may be due to a reduction of 
the number of birds in other parts of their range; but the fact 
remains that the number of red-heads frequenting the State in 
the fall is on the decrease. 

Canvasback. — The canvasback is practically in the class 
with the mallard, pintail and teal. A few are taken each 
year, but it is not a substantial factor as a sporting propo- 
sition. 

Black Duck. ■ — The black duck continues its good record. 
More birds appeared in the State this spring than for many 
years. The breeding season was a favorable one, resulting in 
a large hatch. The fall flight of the "red legs" was very sub- 
stantial. If the Migratory Bird Treaty Act regulations were 
valuable in no other respect, they have certainly increased the 
number of black ducks. But along this line it is fair to state 
that the sportsmen of New England, under existing regulations, 
work at a very great disadvantage. The regulations prohibit 
the shooting of ducks after sunset. It is a well-known fact 
that the black duck is a nocturnal feeder. During the day he 
lies out in the salt water or in the centers of the larger ponds, 
and does not come to the feeding grounds (except in very 
heavy weather) before sundown. And during the period from 
sunset to an hour thereafter only the advance guard of the 
ducks are apt to come to the feeding grounds, the larger por- 
tion arriving later. In view of the increase in the species, we 
believe that some consideration should be given to gradually 
relaxing the regulations to the extent of providing some reason- 
able opportunity for the sportsmen of the State to take a few 
birds shortly after sundown. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 39 

Bluebill. ■ — The spring flight of bluebills was heavy. To 
some extent it is difficult to state when the so-called flight 
starts, for the reason that large numbers of bluebills winter in 
Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket sounds and the adjoining 
brackish and fresh-water ponds. The number which wintered 
this season was greater than has been noted for many years. 
The fall flight started early and was heavier than for a con- 
siderable time. The bluebill is a very interesting little duck, 
and in addition to its fine sporting qualities, is excellent eating. 
It is a great satisfaction to be able to report so favorably on 
a species. 

Scoter. — The spring flight was about normal, while the 
return flight brought a larger number of birds than usual. 

Sheldrake. — The sheldrake is undoubtedly on the increase. 
Breeding as they do on the inland water courses, the condi- 
tions seem to have been very favorable during the past year 
on their natural breeding ground in the North, for somewhat 
more than normal numbers were observed on the fall flight. 

Whistler. ■ — The spring migration of whistlers was substan- 
tial, and the birds came along at about the usual time. Whist- 
lers arrived later in the fall than usual, and during the open 
season and up to the close of this report but very few had 
appeared. 

Widgeon. — The range of the widgeon in this State is quite 
limited. Straggling birds and small flocks are from time to 
time noted in various localities, but they frequent mostly the 
easterly end of Marthas Vineyard. The Squibnocket and 
Pocha ponds harbor a very large percentage of the widgeon 
coming to these shores. There is an abundance of widgeon 
grass in both of these ponds, which provides an attractive 
food supply. There are times when the widgeon grass seems 
to die out, with the result that the birds pass along quite 
quickly. The widgeon is a very spry, gamy bird, and is one 
of the most edible of ducks. It is to be regretted that large 
numbers of them are not more broadly distributed over the 
State. 

Geese. • — The flight from Dec. 1, 1920, up to the close of the 
season, to wit, Dec. 31 of the same year, continued to be very 
heavy, with the result that during the whole fall flight more 



40 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



geese were killed in the State than has been the case for many 
years. During the remaining portion of the winter and the 
following spring (1921) large numbers of geese wintered in the 
waters adjacent to Nantucket and Vineyard sounds. As in the 
case with red-heads and bluebills, it is difficult to judge when 
the spring migration actually started; but it continued until 
well into the spring. The flight was steady and heavy. The 
fall migration up to Nov. 30, 1921 (to which date this report 
is made), justified the hopes raised by the heavy spring flight. 
The return movement began reasonably early and brought even 
a greater number of geese than was observed in the preceding 
season. All of this has resulted in unusually good sport. 
Whether the increase is due to restrictive measures or to a more 
favorable breeding season, or to any possible shifting in the 
flights of birds, it is perhaps a little too early to venture an 
opinion, but the fact remains that the number of geese on our 
shores is very substantially on the increase. 

The spring and fall flight of brant, while not exactly paral- 
leling that of the geese, has, nevertheless, indicated that a 
gradual increase is taking place. 

Statistics of the Gunning Stands. ■ — The figures for 1920 and 
1921 are of interest as revealing the unusual number of geese 
taken at the stands on the heavy flights which marked these 
seasons. 

The figures following represent the totals of the number of 
stands from which it was possible to secure a report, as indi- 
cated : — 



Open Season 
of — 


Number 

of 
Stands 
listed. 


Number 

of 
Stands 
which 

reported. 


Geese 
shot. 


Ducks 
shot. 


Live 
Goose 
Decoys. 


Wooden 

Goose 

Decoys. 


Live 

Duck 

Decoys. 


Wooden 

Duck 
Decoys. 


1917 


67 


51 


726 


3,495 


1,793 


1 
2,093 


1918 


53 


52 


2,065 


5,349 


2,452 


2,1 


12 


1919 


74 


74 


2,458 


8,322 


2,548 


1,914 


2,492 


2,641 


1920 


61 


61 


5,333 


8,441 


2,194 


1,797 


2,320 


2,226 


1921 


128 


115 


8,438 


16,641 


3,354 


3,471 


4,540 


3,499 



Swan. ■ — Only an occasional swan has been reported. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 41 



Migratory Non-Game Birds — Gulls and Terns. 

In spite of warden service at the large colonies at Chatham, 
Monomoy and Nauset, and notwithstanding favorable weather 
conditions during the breeding season, a rather large proportion 
of the year's hatch failed to reach maturity. The Nauset 
colony (on an island and free from vermin and from visitors) 
was an exception. These birds brought off a large hatch, with 
almost no mortality. 

The gulls and terns once more present a problem. Some 
years ago, through commercial exploitation, they faced ex- 
tinction. Accorded a perpetual close season they gradually 
increased, and several large breeding colonies and innumerable 
smaller ones had established themselves along the coast. To 
all appearances the future of the gulls and terns in Massachu- 
setts was assured. But conditions are now operating which 
again threaten destruction unless means can be found to avert 
it. This danger is the lack of undisturbed nesting sites. The 
ideal breeding place is one which is isolated and free from 
human visitors or predatory animals. Time was when our 
shores afforded some such locations. Now hardly a part of 
our coast can be found that is not built up with summer resi- 
dences and overrun with vacationists, either resident or on a 
day's outing, and the birds' haunts are constantly invaded. 
We can warn these persons, through posters or through care- 
takers, that the eggs and birds must not be disturbed, and 
they may conscientiously refrain from so doing. But the mere 
presence of a person on the breeding grounds while the young 
are in the nests may still result in a large mortality. Left un- 
disturbed, the parents remain on the nests and shelter the 
fledglings. But should the adult birds be frightened from the 
nests, the young are left exposed to cold, dampness or (during 
a heavy wind) to drifting sand which may bury and smother 
the unprotected young. Exposure even for a short time may 
mean a heavy loss. 

With the influx of summer residents the army of abandoned 
cats and their progeny is constantly augmented. These cats, 
together with skunks and rats, invade the breeding grounds 
and work havoc among the eggs and birds. Vermin has be- 



42 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

come so numerous, as to be causing the birds to abandon 
long-established breeding locations. Already the north beach 
at Chatham, where formerly a large colony existed, is de- 
serted. Though a few birds tried to nest there this year, the 
young were entirely destroyed. A raid of cats at the Monomoy 
colony was responsible for the loss of a portion of the hatch, 
and in the course of events this colony may be broken up unless 
the vermin can be kept out. When the birds are forced to 
abandon a location, they break up and nest in small, scattered 
groups, but they fail to find locations free from summer residents 
or predatory animals, and few of their young under such con- 
ditions reach maturity. 

All these conditions are difficult to combat, except by heavy 
expenditures. Even though some colonies have had caretakers, 
they are only part-time men, not residing on the breeding 
grounds, and unable to be constantly on guard, and the lesser 
colonies, being small and scattered, would require many 
wardens. To clear the larger breeding grounds of vermin 
would probably be the most effective measure within the scope 
of our resources. 

In previous reports we have referred to the baffling problem 
presented by the lingering of wild fowl in this locality during 
very severe winters until so weakened that many die of starva- 
tion. In the tern colonies we are confronted with the problem 
of many birds building their nests so close to the water that 
high tides, especially if accompanied by a strong wind, will 
often completely flood and destroy the nests. It seems almost 
hopeless to protect a species when their instincts do not serve 
them better in such matters. 

Destructive Agencies. 
Oil Waste. • — We commented last year on the new agency 
of destruction to migratory birds (as well as to the fisheries and 
shellfisheries) in the presence of oil or waste on the waters. 
A year has passed, and during this period conditions have be- 
come alarming for all of the wild life above mentioned. The 
dumping of oil from oil-burning vessels, the pumping out of 
lighters and barges used in the coastwise transportation of oil, 
gasoline, etc., and the refuse from refineries located on tide- 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 43 

waters, have laid a mantle of destruction over vast areas of 
our coastal waters and lands. 

The destruction to migratory waterfowl of all species has 
been alarming, but the most disheartening feature of all is 
that the actual destruction from this cause has only begun. 
Viewing the conditions as they are now with transportation 
activities at a minimum, it is fairly easy to foresee what will 
occur when business revives, unless there is an immediate check 
on the practice. 

Early in the year it became necessary for us to order the 
killing of the flock of semiwild swans which had long frequented 
the Charles River at Watertown. The plumage of these birds, 
from contact with coal tar discharged into the river, had become 
so badly matted that unless humanely killed they would have 
perished of starvation and exposure. Autopsy findings are de- 
tailed in the section covering the "Biological Department." 

A similar condition was reported among the smaller shore 
birds. Semipalmated sandpipers, ring-neck plovers, least sand 
pipers, and red-back sand pipers were noted in a crippled con- 
dition and limping about the flats at Jeffries Point, East Bos- 
ton, where in feeding, their under parts had come in contact 
with the oil floating in the tide pools. 

Large numbers of ducks have perished in the coastal waters 
of Massachusetts from this cause. The oil penetrates the 
feathers to the skin, exposing it to the water and the air, so 
that the proper body temperature cannot be maintained and 
death results. It is believed, also, that in some cases a can- 
cerous condition develops. The birds seem to be powerless to 
combat the trouble, and when once touched by the oil it is 
only a question of time when they will die. It is possible that 
this waste may have some effect upon their food, but in all 
probability the damage is confined to the mechanical effect 
on the activities of the birds. 

Numbers of dovkies, or little auks, were picked up along 
the shore in the vicinity of Sandwich, where they had struggled 
inland short distances from the sea. These birds were covered 
with the oil, the feathers being matted into lumps. 

The mortality in other localities has been as great, or greater 
than in Massachusetts. Incidentally the oil has ruined, or is 



44 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

rapidly ruining, many of the bathing places along the shore. 
It is working even into the more remote places, some of the 
waste being found, for instance, on the south side of Marthas 
Vineyard during the past summer. What has been said of it 
in relation to migratory birds could be urged with equal or 
even greater emphasis in relation to shellfish areas. When once 
deposited on these areas it is likely that the substance never 
can be removed. It means a permanent contraction of these 
valuable areas, which even now are comparatively small, con- 
sidering the demands which will be made on them in the future. 

Many remedies have been proposed. Federal legislation is 
now under consideration, and States have passed, or are 
considering passing, laws to abate the nuisance and remove 
the menace. The United States Biological Survey has under 
consideration, under the power delegated to it to protect 
migratory birds, the promulgation of a regulation to cover the 
case. It has been seriously considered in national conferences, 
as that which took place in Washington on June 16, 1921. On 
this occasion Secretary Hoover advised the States to take such 
action as they could individually, the same to be supplemented 
by conferences called, at his direction, by the representatives 
of the States having to deal with the problem. It is a favorable 
commentary that the people of the country have become alert 
to this condition in its early stages, and have been reasonably 
prompt in seeking remedies, but the essential thing now is 
speed, not only to preserve the birds, but to preserve certain 
valuable shellfish areas from being ruined beyond hope of 
reclamation. 

Lighthouses. — The yearly reports of lighthouse keepers 
showed the fatalities at Massachusetts lights to have been as 
follows : — 

For 1920: Long Point Light, Provincetown, 2 black duck, 
2 devil divers, 3 gulls, 1 eider duck, 1 loon, 1 black-head gull; 
Marblehead Light, 1 duck; Minots Ledge, 1 small brown thrush, 

2 small yellow-leg fly catchers; Sandy Neck, Barnstable, 

3 sparrows, 6 murres, 3 sheldrake, 1 coot, 1 grebe, 1 eider 
duck; Tarpaulin Cove Light, Tarpaulin Cove, about 20 black 
ducks; Thatchers Island Light, 3 yellow-leg plover, 1 black 
duck, 1 sandpiper, 5 geese. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 45 

For 1921: Bishop and Clark's Light, Hyannis, 1 English 
sparrow, 1 gold finch; Cape Cod Light, Xorth Truro, 3 small 
birds with yellow-tipped wings; Cape Poge Light, Edgartown, 
15 English sparrows, 1 old squaw, 5 unknown birds (from de- 
scription probably auks) ; Gay Head Light, Gay Head, 2 coots, 
2 cat birds, 6 yellow birds, 15 unknown birds (described as 
being similar to English sparrows), 2 yellow birds, 5 Eng- 
lish sparrows, 3 unknown birds (from description, probably 
starlings); Long Point, Provincetown, 3 gulls, 1 tern, 1 black 
duck, 1 whistler, 1 loon; Minots Ledge, Cohasset, 3 yellow- 
breasted fly catchers; Monomoy Point, Chatham, 1 old squaw; 
Xantucket Great Point Light, Xantucket, 2 black duck, coots; 
Xauset Beach, Xorth Eastham, 2 wild geese; Sankaty Head, 
Siasconset, 284 pine warblers; Thatchers Island (Cape Ann) 
Light, Rockport, 1 yellow-breasted song sparrow. 





1917. 


1918. 


1919. 


1920. 


1921. 


Number of reports received out of a total of 

58 lights. 
Number of keepers who reported none killed 


51 
35 


52 
35 


44 
36 


51 
43 


57 
45 


Number of keepers unable to furnish data . 


3 


8 


- 


2 


, 


Number of lights reporting fatalities . 


13 


9 


8 


6 


11 


Aggregate number of birds killed 


383 


130+ 


76 


59 


360 



Migratory Bird Law. 

The effect of protection throughout their entire range to the 
migratory species is apparent with every passage of these birds 
through our section of the country. But funds to make the 
Federal law effective in fuller measure by proper enforcement 
have never been provided. As a means to this end, a bill 
known as the "Public Shooting Ground- — Game Refuge Bill" 
is now before Congress, providing a Federal hunting tax of SI 
on all who hunt the migratory species. A part of the resulting 
revenue is to be applied to the enforcement of the migratory 
bird law. 

But to ensure the preservation of these birds for all time, 
constructive measures are required as well as law enforce- 
ment, for the future of these birds is menaced by the gradual 
encroachment on areas heretofore used by them for breeding 



46 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

grounds and resting places in flight. It is proposed to apply 
a part of the revenue from the Federal licenses to the purchase 
of the best of these breeding areas, to be closed to shooting 
and maintained for the use of the birds. The bill lays the 
foundation for a broad constructive policy, and its enactment 
is the step that is necessary to complete the greatest conser- 
vation measure that has ever been proposed. And it has the 
additional merit, lacking in so many deserving projects, of 
being self-supporting. 

Upland Game. 
Pheasants. 

The regulations by the Division of Fisheries and Game for 
the hunting of pheasants in the open season of 1921 differed 
from those of previous years in that they permitted the shoot- 
ing of only cock pheasants. 

When in 1914 the covers appeared sufficiently stocked to 
warrant a yearly open season, the Legislature conferred on the 
fish and game officials the authority to regulate the shooting. 
Bearing in mind the purpose for which the pheasant has been 
introduced, ■ — to relieve the strain on the grouse and quail, 
and to serve as a game bird, — and bearing in mind, also, that 
even if entirely exterminated the pheasant could be restored by 
the expenditure of time and dollars, a liberal open season (one 
month) was allowed on both cocks and hens from 1914 to 1920, 
inclusive. During that time we continued to breed pheasants at 
two game farms and various small experimental plants from 
which were turned into the covers from 1914 to 1920, inclusive, 
14,099 pheasants. During this same period the gunners took 
from the covers in open season 27,095 birds, according to their 
reports, and we believe many more were not reported. 

When the question of rules and regulations for 1921 came 
up for consideration, it was apparent that, despite a gradual 
increase in the amount of stock distributed yearly, and the pro- 
duction of wild birds, the pheasant was hardly holding its own. 
In no locality was it reported abundant, and rare in many 
places where formerly it was present in substantial numbers. 

The cause of the decrease is easily explained, — it is the 
result of shooting. While this is to a certain extent to be de- 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 47 

plored, there is no such occasion for alarm as would be the 
case were it one of the native species. For, in the case of the 
pheasant, if all shooting were stopped during the next ten years 
it would come back fairly rapidly until all natural pheasant 
covers were substantially stocked. And if, at the end of that 
time, shooting were resumed under rules which formerly ob- 
tained, the same rapid decrease would be witnessed. 

The natural history of the pheasant is considerably different 
from that of the ruffed grouse. While in the case of the latter 
the rule is a lean period, followed by one of comparative 
abundance, in seven to ten year cycles, with the pheasant it is 
a case of a steady decline, and just now we have come to a 
point of comparative scarcity. The wild life of the State is a 
constantly changing quantity, and no one set of rules will 
apply at all times. It should be dealt with according to the 
conditions of the moment. Therefore, admitting the scarcity 
of pheasants in the covers, and considering the fact that our 
best efforts in propagation have permitted the liberation on an 
average of but 1 young pheasant to every 2 square miles of 
territory in 1920 and 1921, it was apparent that at the present 
rate it would be impossible to keep up a reasonable stock unless 
those birds which survive each year could be given the best of 
opportunity to propagate. The logical course, therefore, ap- 
peared to be to spare the female pheasants and to permit the 
shooting of cock birds only, for the male pheasant is polyg- 
amous, and such being the case the killing of the cocks alone 
should result in the least possible injury to the stock. 

The sportsmen of Massachusetts have been particularly 
favored in their privileges in respect to pheasant shooting, for 
New York State (where more pheasants have been propagated 
probably than in any other State in the Union) has an open 
season of four days a year, with a seasonal bag limit of 3 male 
pheasants, whereas Massachusetts has thirty days with a 
seasonal bag of 6 birds. 

Before adopting this regulation an expression of opinion was 
asked at the annual sportsmen's conference and the sentiment 
was overwhelmingly in favor of protection to the hen pheasants. 
This was later confirmed by questionnaire to the sportsmen's 
associations. 



48 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



We regard this as an experiment, which will be continued or 
abandoned according to the results, and shall continue to watch 
developments very closely, with the aim to give the sportsmen 
every opportunity, within reason, to gun this bird. 

To the hardy pheasant the average winter presents no prob- 
lems, and the stock that remained after the hunting season 
came through the winter with no noticeable loss, nested early, 
and brought off good broods. 

On Nantucket, where shooting has been allowed only since 
1919, pheasants have thus far showed no decrease. 

In northern Berkshire County pheasants have never done 
well. It is planned (with the approval of the local sportsmen) 
to discontinue attempts to stock that section with pheasants, 
and to liberate instead as many rabbits as our resources permit. 



Pheasants (Cocks only) reported shot in Open Season of . 


1921. 


County. 


Number re- 
ported. 


County. 


Number re- 
ported. 


Barnstable 

Berkshire 

Bristol 

Essex 

Franklin 

Hampden 










28 
46 
83 
184 
40 
94 
154 
338 


Nantucket 
Norfolk . 
Plymouth . 
Suffolk 
Worcester . 
Locality not reportec 






102 
157 
110 

1 
191 

1 


Hampshire 
Middlesex 




Total . 




1,529 



It will be seen that the total reported killed is smaller by 448 
than that of last year. This may be accounted for, to some 
extent at least, by three reasons: first, the shooting was re- 
stricted to cocks; again, fewer pheasants came under observa- 
tion in the field than has been the case in the last few years, 
and these were wild, and fewer fell before the gunner: further, 
the fact that the grouse were much more plentiful than for 
several seasons made the older gunners (deprived of their 
favorite sport during the period of scarcity) turn their attention 
again to this bird. 

There is a further aspect of the case which will come in for 
increasing consideration, and that is the extent to which an 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 49 

introduced species in time seems to lose the stimulating effect 
of a new environment. The ring-neck pheasant, when intro- 
duced into the Willamette valley of Oregon, bred very rapidly 
and distributed itself over a wide range. The birds sustained 
themselves well over a number of years. Recently there has 
been the report that the birds seem to be on the decline, with- 
out apparent reason. Biologists of that locality are beginning 
to take the view that the birds have begun to lose the stimu- 
lating effect of a new range. For some unaccountable reason 
the pheasants are not more than holding their own with our 
present open season and with an increased activity in artificial 
propagation. It may well be that they are failing to respond 
to the food and living conditions within the State. 

Ruffed Grouse. 

Through its entire range the grouse was benefited by a com- 
paratively open winter, and the breeding season was satisfac- 
tory, judging from the large number of broods of young reported 
from many parts of the State. The indications were, however, 
that certain localities held more birds than others, or, to put it 
another way, the production was "spotty." The young birds 
seemed to do well in the early part of the season, but in many 
localities a dropping off in the size of the broods was noted 
as the weeks went by. The causes no one knows, but the fact 
remains that through some agencies the flocks were greatly 
reduced. During the early part of the open season the dryness 
of the cover made it a grave question whether or not a closed 
season should be proclaimed to lessen the fire menace. There 
were other periods during the balance of the season when, by 
reason of ice storms and rainy weather, hunting was difficult. 
While the season was not one of a plentiful supply, there was 
fairly good shooting in many sections. 

The increase has not been as rapid as many optimists had 
expected. There are some localities, as, for example, the four 
western counties, where the recovery has been quite rapid. 
There are many others where the increase has not come up to 
expectations. Speaking in State-wide terms and of conditions 
at the close of the season, it is fair to state that the birds have 
increased practically everywhere, but that the rate of increase 



50 FISH AND GAME. [Xov. 

was more rapid and more substantial in the four western 
counties than in the rest of the State. Nevertheless, good 
numbers were taken throughout the entire State during the 
season, and at the end of the season more birds were left for 
seed than at any time during the period of greatest decrease, 
that is to say, 1919. 

Quail 

It seems improbable that the quail will ever again establish 
itself over the State generally. For a good many years there 
have been no quail to speak of except in the section extending 
south from Boston, and including Cape Cod, this being the 
natural quail range. Over the rest of the State, though there 
are a few scattering covies, there is little or no increase, in spite 
of periods of entire closed season in certain counties. 

As we have stated almost annually, the problem of the quail 
is the winterkill. Speaking generally, this is probably the one 
agency that can ever exterminate the quail on its natural range 
in this State. It is true that these birds may be reduced in a 
given locality almost to extinction, and yet, with two or three 
successive favorable seasons, they will regain ground rapidly. 
This is the situation in the State to-day. Quail are fairly abun- 
dant on the quail range. The winter was comparatively mild 
and the breeding season favorable, and the birds came along well 
during the summer and early fall. The increase as compared to 
the past two years was very pronounced, and good numbers 
were taken in many localities. The limited bag of four birds 
a day discourages many sportsmen from making a business of 
hunting quail. With the return of the normal supply it would 
be entirely reasonable to increase the limit to six birds per day. 

The one bright spot in quail restocking activities is the re- 
sult on the island of Marthas Vineyard. Several years ago, in 
1915, the quail on the Vineyard were practically exterminated. 
Annual plants were made, and since that time they have 
been coining back gradually until single birds and small bevies 
have become quite common on the island. 

Carolina Doves. 
Carolina doves seem to have held their own satisfactorily. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 51 



Deer. 
The open season on deer for the period of this report (Dec. 
6 to 11, 1920) was remarkable for the very large number shot, 
— 1,466 as compared with 833 in the previous year, an increase 
of 76 per cent. This number has not been equaled since 1913, 
which was the banner year in the whole history of deer hunt- 
ing in Massachusetts. This was probably due both to well- 
stocked covers and to the unusually favorable field conditions. 
Pleasant weather prevailed, with no rains to keep the hunters 
out of the woods, and in the western part of the State, where 
the deer are most plentiful, there was a very light fall of snow, 
sufficient for tracking, while it was not cold enough to freeze 
and make stalking difficult. A gradual decrease in the number 
of deer is occurring in the more thickly settled portions of the 
State, though they hold their numbers well in Berkshire, 
Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester counties. The 
annual increase still warrants a yearly open season, for in a 
thickly populated State, devoted to a considerable extent to 
agriculture, in justice to the agricultural interests which repre- 
sent a large investment of capital, destructive wild animals, 
however desirable as game, must be kept within bounds. 



52 



FISH AND GAME. 



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1921. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



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54 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



Both the number of deer found damaging crops and shot 
by farmers, and the total of claims for reimbursement for 
damage to crops by wild deer, have lessened materially in the 
last few years, as shown by the following table: — 



Year. 


Number of Deer 

shot 
damaging Crops. 


Amount claimed 

for Damage 
to Crops by Deer. 


1903 


No data 


$237 30 


1904 ... 


No data 


392 25 


1905 ... . 


No data 


1,117 05 


1906 


No data 


2,038 73 


1907 


16 


2,912 78 


1908 


17 


4,370 03 


1909 


198 


7,923 09 


1910 


327 


7,351 84 


1911 


232 


9,526 82 


1912 


313 


15,682 13 


1913 


195 


19,977 29 


1914 


212 


9,983 48 


1915 


254 


9,132 81 


1916 


208 


9,713 12 


1917 


223 


10,125 21 


1918 


136 


6,979 30 


1919 


143 


4,891 90 


1920 


97 


5,577 40 


1921 


96 


4,763 00 



Moose. 
By chapter 257, Acts of 1921, farmers were given the same 
protection against damage by moose that they have had in the 
case of deer, — by reimbursement for the amount of the injury. 
There has been more or less complaint on this score in the past; 
for, though not present in great numbers, there are some moose 
at large in the more remote sections of the State, some, doubt- 
less, having wandered over the New York line, but mostly 
survivors or descendants of the moose herd on October Moun- 
tain, the Whitney estate. Several moose were killed during the 
week of the open season on deer in December of 1920, — a 
yearling moose on October Mountain, Washington; two others 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 55 

in Washington and one at Otis. The latter was a bull moose, 
with 40-inch antlers showing 21 points, 10 on one side and 11 
on the other, the palms or paddles deep, and the whole head 
perfectly formed. One observer who lives in Otis and who 
has had a large opportunity to observe the moose, estimates 
that there are at least one hundred moose in the State. Even 
if this statement were discounted by 50 per cent, it would still 
be remarkable that so many of these animals are at large. 

Squirrels. 
Though some localities have gray squirrels in plenty, and in 
increasing numbers, the report is pretty general that they are 
becoming less numerous. While the decrease has been appar- 
ent for some years, the cause is not known. The destruction 
(pretty near total) of the chestnut forests, and the consequent 
reduction in the food supply would appear to have some bear- 
ing on the case. It is a well-known fact that squirrels will 
travel considerable distances in search of a food supply. 

Hares and Rabbits. 
All wild life had an excellent breeding season, and both rab- 
bits and hares were abundant in the early fall. In many 
localities there were large increases. In some few districts the 
native stock particularly was scarce, but that condition was 
not general over the State. There were 1,073 white hares 
bought and liberated by the Division, and a good many in 
addition by the associations. This has been done for a series 
of years, and the liberated stock is said to be multiplying fast. 
For instance. 6 hares were liberated by an association in a 
certain locality in Princeton. Subsequent records kept by the 
club showed over 40 taken from that same area during one 
winter. In the Forbes swamp, lying in Carver, Middleborough 
and Rochester, some 7 miles long and varying from 1 to 4 
miles in width, an ideal place for white hares, the stock was 
nearly depleted. There were liberated by the Middleborough 
Fish and Game Association and this Division 10 white hares 
-in 1918, 52 in 1919, and in 1920, in various parts of Middle- 
borough, including the swamp, 188. The stock increased re- 



56 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

markably, and the district warden knows personally of from 
125 to 150 killed in this swamp in the winter of 1919-20, and 
the numbers taken the following winter were even better. 

On Marthas Vineyard the native rabbits are scarce, many 
having been killed by disease in the spring of 1920. Every 
summer there appears to be much mortality among the young 
from wood ticks and fleas. Forty rabbits trapped on Nan- 
tucket and 54 northern hares purchased in Maine were liberated 
on Marthas Vineyard. No evidence has come to hand that the 
Belgian hare bucks or the black-tail jack rabbits liberated in 
past years ever bred, and no further effort will be made along 
this line. 

On Nantucket cotton tails were quite plentiful, but the white 
hares liberated last year have not bred well. 

Legislation this year opened the season on rabbits and hares 
in Dukes and Nantucket counties from November 15 to Feb- 
ruary 15, as against an open season of October 20 to January 
31 in the rest of the State. 

The sportsmen are beginning to realize more and more the 
desirability of starting the hunting season on rabbits well into 
the fall. Up to the close of this report fewer rabbits than usual 
had been taken over the State as a whole. 

Fur-bearing Animals. 

During the winter of 1920 and the spring of 1921 trapping 
was unusually light, and the catch below normal. The large 
western houses early in the fall of 1920 advised the trappers 
not to take skins, prices being low and a large stock of furs 
on hand. It was feared that the influx of an additional supply 
of skins would demoralize the trade in general. The season 
opened on November 1 with mild weather, and with prac- 
tically every one putting out a very low and conservative price 
list, this heavy drop from war-time prices offered no induce- 
ment to trap. One dealer estimates from 25 to 40 per cent of 
the trappers refrained from taking skins. 

The fur dealers express approval of the new law establishing 
closed seasons on fur-bearing animals as tending to raise the 
quality of the product. One concern reported that practically 
no unprime fur was offered during the year. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 57 

The Annual catch of muskrats is undoubtedly the State's 
most valuable fur asset. It is a satisfaction to be able to report 
these animals as gradually recovering after the tremendous 
reduction during the period of the high prices. On the other 
hand, there is still too much taking of the skins during the 
early part of the trapping season, when the weather is mild and 
the skins are not prime. It would be much better to delay 
trapping until late in the winter, continuing to the close of 
the season. It is a question for further study whether there 
should be any open season on muskrats in April. 

The fox suffered as much as any of the fur bearers during the 
period of intensive trapping, but with the drop in the demand 
for furs they have had a chance to come back. The result is 
that in certain localities where they were most persistently 
trapped the stock is to-day scarce, but speaking of the State as 
a whole, the fox is greatly on the increase. The number of 
fox hunters is growing, and there is a correspondingly greater 
activity in the fox hunters' clubs. Many men are turning 
from bird hunting to fox hunting because they enjoy a much 
longer season to hunt. More interest, too, is being displayed 
in the production of high-class dogs, all of which argues well 
for the general situation. The fox has much to justify his 
economic existence, and the increase of hunters is a protection 
against an oversupply. The pursuit of the fox is a noble 
sport and the resulting recreation to an increasing number of 
hunters has a great value. 

The live fox industry is growing in the eastern States, and 
there are ranches as far west as Missouri. At the Second 
Annual Live Fox Show, held by the American Fox Breeders' 
Association (chartered in 1918 under Massachusetts laws) in 
Boston Dec. 1 and 2, 1920, entries were made by 21 individuals 
representing New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Prince 
Edward Island. Eight entries were by Massachusetts breeders 
and of the 9 cups offered 2 were taken by Massachusetts ex- 
hibitors. Fox breeders are selling their stock for breeding pur- 
poses rather than as skins, and hold their best stock for sale 
alive. 



58 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

i 

Enemies to Game. 
Cats. 

The problem of the self-hunting house cat continues. It is 
only justice to the wild life of the upland to say that this is 
the greatest single menace that now threatens. It is surprising 
to note the indifference to the situation in a State of advanced 
public opinion, such as Massachusetts. 

Without attempting to recite the arguments pro and con, 
there is no doubt that thousands of cats roam sections of this 
State without any control. They are the property of no one, 
they serve very little economic purpose, and their destructive 
operations far exceed any consideration to which they are 
entitled on any other grounds. Legislation should be enacted 
establishing the status of the cat as property, and a system of 
registration established, at a nominal cost, merely sufficient to 
cover administrative expenses with no idea of revenue. Sys- 
tematic efforts should be made to induce the owners of land 
to keep the number of cats on their premises at a minimum, 
while plans should be laid to humanely destroy those which 
roam the open. Likewise owners of cats in large and small 
communities should be willing to co-operate more closely than 
they have in the past with our efforts, to see that such cats are 
restrained during the breeding season of birds, which is in 
general from May 15 to August 15. It should be no hardship 
to either the owner or the cat itself that it should be prevented 
from roaming during this period. 

Starlings, 

Starlings have increased rapidly in all parts of the State 
during the past year, and bid fair to become as great a problem 
as the English sparrow. 

Hawks, Owls and Other Vermin. 

No pronounced flight of hawks or owls of any species has been 

noted through the year, and there is nothing to indicate that 

they have been present in more than normal numbers, or have 

done more than the usual amount of damage. Or, to state 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 59 

the case another way, many of them have done the normal 
amount of good. Such a statement naturally opens up a large 
argument for and against the species. While it is true that 
some of these birds do a great deal of damage, and their 
existence is hard to justify economically (as, for example, the 
great horned owl and the goshawk), there are other species 
(as, for example, the red shoulder, the red-tail hawk and the 
sparrow hawk) whose activities go a long way toward justify- 
ing their existence. It is well to keep constantly in mind that 
we should proceed slowly in upsetting the balance of nature 
by attempting to exterminate certain species, and we generally 
find them interlocked, interrelated or interdependent on one 
another to maintain the balance throughout the animal kingdom. 
Recently much discussion has arisen as to the extensive kill- 
ing of muskrats by mink, and the depredations of the weasel. 
The discussion will undoubtedly continue as to whether the mink 
should be completely destroyed because it kills the muskrat. 
It is in this way that some of the most economically valuable 
adjustments of wild life are surveyed. 



Reservations. 
Marthas Vineyard Reservation. 

The month of December, 1920, was mild for the season, and 
at that time about 60 heath hens were feeding on the cultivated 
areas of the reservation. The early months of the year were 
devoted, as usual, to the pursuit and destruction of vermin 
and in performing patrol work. Hawks were not quite as 
numerous as usual, but did some damage in May to the adult 
heath hens. Rats were more numerous than usual and did a 
corresponding amount of damage. Though the fight is main- 
tained against them the year through, with the fall there is 
always an influx of these roving animals from the fields to 
winter in the buildings. There were 244 rats, 20 hawks and 
14 cats destroyed during the year. 

The usual crops were planted in the spring for the heath 
hens, the stock, and the small birds, — 11 acres of corn, 3 of 
clover, 1 of buckwheat, and a few rows of sunflowers. 

The breeding season of the heath hen was not of the best. 



60 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Frost occurred three times in May and once in June, and ap- 
parently was the cause of the absence of many broods of chicks. 
But few broods were seen on the reservation, and in those seen 
there were but few chicks to each parent. The frost was 
severe enough to crack duck eggs. 

The usual spring census of the heath hen by the State Orni- 
thologist and the superintendent gave a total of 314 birds 
actually seen. This is a substantial advance over the actual 
count of last year, and unquestionably there are many more 
heath hen on the island which were not found and counted. 
It was observed that there were fewer heath hen about the 
fields of the reservation than at any time during recent years, 
but this may be accounted for by the fact that the winter was 
mild, that they were not fed much on the reservation, and that 
they had wandered over the island wherever food was abun- 
dant. The heath hen are more widely scattered than ever 
before, — a very desirable condition, for in case of fire or 
disaster the loss will be confined to the comparatively small 
number of birds in the immediate locality, whereas if localized 
the entire stock might be exterminated. 

There were no fires on the reservation this year, nor on any 
part of the island, to do damage to bird or animal life. 

In the fall the heath hen showed up well (a flock of 40 was 
seen in November), and it is apparent that the frosty breeding 
season was offset to some extent by the absence of fires and 
scarcity of hawks, which enabled a greater proportion of the 
hatch than usual to reach maturity. 

The reservation was visited by approximately 300 persons 
rom March to October. 

Myles Standish State Forest. 
The Myles Standish State Forest was conducted this year 
purely as a reservation, pheasant rearing being abandoned for 
financial reasons. The 12 breeders on hand were liberated 
early in the spring. Under constant protection the bird life, 
almost negligible when the reservation was established, is gain- 
ing ground. Pheasants are quite numerous, grouse increasing, 
but quail scarce. There are no mallards, but black and wood 
ducks are remarkably numerous. The mild fall held the wood 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 61 

ducks here, and 20 were counted in one small duck hole on 
October 20. Eight wood ducks from the Sandwich hatchery 
were liberated within the reservation. Patrol work and the 
hunting of vermin has been carried along with the forestry 
work, and in spite of constant watchfulness, early and late, no 
violations have been found. There were destroyed during the 
year 12 foxes, 20 skunks, 8 great horned owls, 1 goshawk, 5 
red-tailed hawks, 24 snapping turtles, 7 weasels and 10 cats. 

Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary. 

During the past year the territory comprising the Moose 
Hill Bird Sanctuary in Sharon has been largely increased, a 
protected area of more than 800 acres being now maintained 
and patrolled in co-operation with the Massachusetts Audubon 
Society. In addition to this area, which comprises contiguous 
lands under a dozen private ownerships, several hundred acres 
of woodland in other parts of the town have been posted on 
request of the owners, thereby offering in this vicinity a pro- 
tected area for the birds of a thousand acres or more. The 
sanctuary area now includes the summit of Moose Hill, on 
which stands one of the State forest fire observation towers, a 
spot visited annually by hundreds of people owing to its par- 
ticularly fine view for many miles over the surrounding country. 

Following the mild winter and favorable spring an increase 
in many birds was noted. Ruffed grouse are more plentiful 
than for several years past. Although their peculiar drumming 
seems to be largely a mating call, it is not infrequently heard 
on moonlight nights during the late fall and winter, and it has 
been heard here during every month of the year, and at every 
hour of the day and night. 

Several pairs of woodcock nested in the sanctuary. They 
arrived this year on the 12th of March, nineteen days earlier 
than the year previous, and from this date to the 28th of May 
their wonderful, ecstatic "flight songs " could be heard every 
evening about sunset. On one occasion, in early evening in 
April, eight woodcock were noted at one time within half a 
mile along the roadside. The young from one nest under ob- 
servation left their nest April 23, a few hours after hatching. 
Others are believed to have left a few days later. 



m FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Pheasants were seen less commonly, their preferred habitat 
being the lower grounds, although a few, raised and released 
earlier in the season, are observed daily about the headquarters. 

From 15 to 20 black ducks wintered in the lower part of the 
sanctuary and are known to have bred in the Beaver Hole 
Meadows. A number of mallard and wood ducks released 
during the summer have been noted at various times. There 
seems to be excellent breeding ground for wood duck and black 
duck along the meadows of Beaver Hole Brook, the upper 
reaches of which remain open throughout the winter, although 
at present part of these marshes are open to gunners, who 
greatly deplete the breeding and migrating birds during the 
shooting season. 

The sanctuary is particularly the resort of the song and in- 
sectivorous birds. A total of 116 species were observed during 
the year. Owing to other duties incumbent upon the super- 
intendent, especially during May and June, when nearly 1,400 
visitors were received, there was very little time for detailed 
nesting observations. However, 150 nests, representing 42 
species, were under observation during the summer. 

Mourning doves were seen more frequently than for several 
years past. A flourishing and increasing colony of house 
wrens has been established. Tree swallows and blue birds 
have been noted in increasing numbers, and have occupied 
many of the bird boxes, while the various warblers, sparrows, 
vireos, thrushes and others have taken up their abode about 
the grounds. The hairy woodpecker, crested flycatcher, soli- 
tary vireo, golden-winged warbler, brown creeper and hermit 
thrush — species but locally common in eastern Massachusetts 
— have all nested here this season, the latter being heard in 
song from March 27 to August 3. Fifty species could be ob- 
served about the grounds almost any day during spring migra- 
tion, and on one day 67 were noted by the superintendent. 

Feeding of the wild birds has been kept up the year through, 
and this work is shown to have been worth while in the in- 
crease of nesting birds about the house. Several species could 
be observed feeding at the window shelves and food stands 
every day in the year, and many of these brought their young 
into the doorvard for food. The usual routine of the work was 




Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary, Sharon, Mass. One of the exhibition rooms 

headquarters. 



in the farmhouse 




Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary, Sharon, Mass. Chickadee, downy woodpecker and tree sparrow 
at food table in dooryard. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 63 

continued, — the supplying of nesting boxes and nesting ma- 
terial and other methods for attracting birds, card cataloguing 
of all forms of wild life within the area, the entertainment and 
instruction of visitors and bird students (of whom there were 
4,000) and the patrol against violations of the game laws. 
Only one arrest was necessary, and, considering the large num- 
ber of people who have access to the grounds, this shows a 
general respect for the purposes of the reservation. 

The banding of wild birds, in co-operation with the United 
States Biological Survey, has been continued. Although lack 
of time and traps was a handicap, 119 birds of 17 species have 
been banded and recorded this year. 

Gray squirrels and rabbits have bred abundantly in their 
respective haunts. A few varying hares were released. Deer 
are seen occasionally, but have been too frequently disturbed 
by dogs running wild through the woods to remain long in one 
place. Tracks of raccoons were noted about the ponds, and the 
strange, humanlike cries of these animals have been heard in 
the woods at night. 

A few muskrats have been seen in our ponds and streams; 
also tracks of mink. In one instance during the winter, tracks 
of an otter were observed in the snow about the duck pond 
and stream flowing through it, this wily animal taking toll 
from our ducks as it passed. 

Foxes have been seen occasionally, but have not been nu- 
merous. Several skunks and a number of hunting cats have 
been destroyed, as well as a few red squirrels and many rats. 
Field mice and moles have appeared to be far less common 
here than last year, and little evidence of their destructive 
work was noted through the winter. 

Beaver Hole Brook, which rises among the hills of the sanc- 
tuary and flows for some distance through the lower part of 
the grounds, has long been noted as a trout stream, being 
stocked each season through the co-operation of neighboring 
sportsmen. Many fishermen visited this stream during the 
spring and summer, and several hundred trout were taken from 
its waters. 



64 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Reservations under Sections 69 to 75, Chapter 131, General Laws. 

During the year no additions were made to the chain of 
reservations. Shortly after this law was enacted (in 1911), 
considerable interest was shown in the establishment of such 
reservations. In previous reports we have touched on the fact 
that little or nothing has been done to make conditions on the 
reservations more favorable for the wild life than the conditions 
which exist on adjoining areas which are not included in the 
reservation. On some occasions owners have refused the 
offers of our agents to plant grains, on the theory that such 
activity would give the State an easement. Others have 
come to realize that the establishment of such a reservation is 
at least a small cloud on the title to their land, and have been 
reluctant to continue with the project. Owing to our limited 
funds we have been unable to give these areas any extra 
patrol. The fact remains, therefore, that except for the moral 
effect of the posting by the State, nothing generally has been 
done by the landowners to make the areas increasingly attractive 
to wild life. Therefore the only practical benefit has been that 
which comes from the prohibition of shooting. It is obvious, 
of course, that the prohibition of shooting is of some benefit, 
and should result in a gradual restoration of the wild life on 
the area. But the main point is, the increase is not so rapid 
or so extensive as might be brought about were it possible to 
increase the food supplies, give some winter protection, and 
kill off the vermin. 

Without attempting this year to discuss each reservation in 
detail, it can be stated that the wild life of these areas is slowly 
on the increase; that there has been no more increase in any 
of these localities as distinguished generally from the adjacent 
localities; that the public interest has not been any more 
noticeable than usual; and that there has been no attempt to 
broaden the plan by the addition of new reservations. 

The Hingham Reservation was renewed for an additional 
period of five years, dating from Dec. 18, 1919. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 65 



INLAND FISHERIES. 

General. 
In our last report we pointed out that the stock in our ponds 
cannot much longer stand the unrestricted fishing to which it 
is subjected in the winter and during the breeding season. In 
our recommendations to the Legislature we advocated catch 
and sale limits and a shortening of the season as the proper 
measures to avert the danger. These recommendations were 
adopted to the extent of imposing catch limits and raising the 
legal lengths as follows: — 

Wall-eyed pike or pike perch, 5 in one d\y. 

Yellow perch, 40 in one clay. 

Horned pout, 40 in one day. 

Black bass, 6 in one da}' (length raised from 8 to 10 inches, and season 
shortened by two months, being now closed from February 1 to June 20, 
instead of April 1 to June 20). 

Pickerel, 15 in one day (length raised from 10 to 12 inches). 

White perch, no change in the limit of 10 pounds to one person, or 15 
pounds to two persons, per daj r (length 7 inches). 

Sale on all species was restricted to a legal bag limit. 

While these restrictions will help to some extent, the need is 
still urgent for complete prohibition of the sale of fresh-water 
fish, and closed seasons on those species still lacking this pro- 
tection. 

We must continue to emphasize the proposition that no 
great progress can be made in maintaining and increasing the 
supply of fish in our fresh waters so long as they may be ex- 
ploited as a commercial proposition. It is equivalent to the 
outlay of substantial sums each year to put fish into the 
streams and ponds while at the same time maintaining a sys- 
tem which practically places a premium or bounty (since they 
may be sold) on every one that is caught. 

For a number of years we have had before us the problem of 
developing some suitable food fishes in our larger rivers. The 
extensive reaches of the Merrimack River and the Connecticut 
River have been practically unproductive over a period of years. 
The conditions existing on the Connecticut River, both in 



06 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Massachusetts and Connecticut, make it unlikely that fishways 
will be installed for some time, if ever. And assuming that fish- 
ways were provided, it is a question whether there are any fish 
to use them. The principal run to-day in the Connecticut is a 
limited number of shad. No fishway has been devised, up to 
the present time, which the shad will use. It is conceivable 
that substantial runs of alewives might be brought back to this 
river in line with the work that has already been accomplished 
in the Merrimack. In the meantime, it would seem that the 
large areas of the Connecticut River from the Connecticut 
State line to the New Hampshire State line should produce 
some species of food fish in substantial numbers. Since the 
various species of catfish seemed to hold the greatest possi- 
bilities, there have been planted in the Connecticut River, 
between October, 1920, and Nov. 30, 1921, 6,100 fingerling 
catfish from the United States government, and 1,445 adult 
catfish received through the courtesy of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. There were also planted 200 buffalo fish received from 
Pennsylvania. 

We would emphasize that this is purely an experiment, the 
result of which will not be known for several years. 

In the Merrimack River in the spring of 1921, and prior to 
the run of alewives, the fishway constructed at the Essex 
Company's dam at Lawrence was put into operation. No 
salmon had been reported in the river earlier in the spring or 
during the preceding year. At the time the fishway was 
opened it was not known whether any species of fish was avail- 
able. But a number of alewives were observed ascending the 
fishway, and this small and rather scattered migration con- 
tinued throughout the usual period. 

On Nov. 14, 1921, the fishway around the dam of the Locks 
and Canals Company at Lowell was completed, and therefore 
the Merrimack River throughout its entire length in Massa- 
chusetts is open to the sea. Should the run of alewives in- 
crease, the most beneficial effect on the fresh-water species in 
the river would be the appearance of a food supply in the 
shape of young alewives. Whether or not any of the fresh- 
water species will attempt to descend the fishways remains to 
be, seen, and whether any of the fresh-water species will go up 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 67 

into the upper reaches of the stream is likewise to be deter- 
mined. 

While the Merrimack has been stocked from time to time 
with various species, none have become established. Believing 
the catfish to be as well adapted to the Merrimack as to the 
Connecticut, arrangements have been made for stocking it as 
soon as catfish can be secured for the purpose. 

Here, again, the work is of an experimental character, and 
in all probability two or three years must pass before it can be 
known to what extent the effort has been successful. 

When all traces of the chemicals spilled into the Westfield 
River (West Branch) by the railroad wreck of last year had 
been effaced, plants of trout were made to offset to some extent 
the loss of stock through the accident, ■ — 500 yearlings in June, 
8,000 fingerlings throughout the season, and on November 27, 
260 yearlings. Good catches of fish were taken during the 
year at Middlefield, both above and below the dam, and down 
the stream below the location of the wreck. 

In the West Branch the already existing supply of brown 
trout is being supplemented by plants from our stock. 

W 7 inter Fishing. 

Owing to the rather open winter the usual amount of ice 
fishing was not done. In sections where conditions were more 
favorable to this sport there were varying returns. Poor fish- 
ing was reported in a number of the western districts, much of 
which may be attributed to the systematic winter fishing of 
the ponds of that locality made possible by the longer favor- 
able conditions, ■ — namely, a longer period of ice. 

Winter fishing has many features that are pleasant, and a 
substantial number of our fishermen look forward to it as their 
annual sport. It is with reluctance, therefore, that we suggest 
the advisability of its curtailment. But the fact remains, as 
pointed out on previous occasions, that the prevailing regula- 
tions with respect to this branch of the sport are entirely wrong. 
It is an elementary principle of wild life protection that im- 
munity should be granted a species immediately prior to and 
during the breeding season. The principal fish taken in ice 
fishing is the pickerel. The pickerel spawns very shortly after 



68 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



the ice goes out of a pond. Prior to that time the females are 
congregating on the breeding grounds, which in every pond are 
well known. The effect is to localize the stock. The females 
are particularly voracious because they are carrying spawn, and 
it must be nourished and developed. The result, therefore, is 
that the fishermen go on a pond, and from previous experience 
are able with some success to locate the areas of abundance. 
Ninety-five per cent of their catch of pickerel are female fish 
with spawn. They are killing the fish within two to three 
months prior to the time that it would spawn, and they are 
depleting the ponds of a species, the artificial propagation of 
which up to the present time has never been practicable. And 
they are killing the fish which is the staple food fish in our 
streams and ponds. The foregoing is not in any respect an 
exaggerated statement of the case; in fact, it could be put 
even more strongly. If the stock in these waters is to be 
not only maintained but increased, it is imperative to at least 
restrict ice fishing after the first of February, or even pro- 
hibit it entirely, as is the case in Pennsylvania. 

The following ponds were stocked and closed to winter fish- 
ing under section 28, chapter 130, General Laws:- — 



Pond. 



Town. 



Regulations 
expire — 



Whalom 

Winnecunnet 

Congamond Lakes (except the North Pond) 

Massapoag 

Horn 

Quannapowitt 

Martin's 



Lunenburg and Leominster 

Norton . 

Southwick 

Sharon . 

Woburn 

Wakefield 

North Reading 



Jan. 1, 1924 
Jan. 1, 1924 
Jan. 1, 1924 
June 1, 1924 
Nov. 1, 1924 
Nov. 1, 1924 
Nov. 1, 1924 



These ponds are closed to all fishing except between May 30 
and October 31, inclusive, of each year, and the tributary 
streams are closed except between April 15 and July 31, in- 
clusive, until the date the regulations expire. Only a hand 
line, or line attached to a rod or pole held in the hand, may 
be used. 

The above regulations represent a modification of the for- 
mer rules in beginning the open period on May 30 instead of 



1 921 .] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 69 

June 1, to permit fishing on Memorial Day. This change was 
adopted in response to repeated requests on the part of the 
fishing public. The modified regulations were adopted in May, 
1921, and not only were applied to all ponds closed thereafter, 
but existing regulations on all closed ponds were made to 
conform. 

Trout. 
Brook Trout {Salvelinus fontinalis) . 

The reports of the trout fishing season were very favorable 
from all parts of the State where trout fishing waters abound. 
There were more and larger fish, and it was common for fish- 
ermen to get the bag limit of 25 in a day. In spite of heavy 
fishing and increasing interest in this line of sport, the streams 
bear witness to the efficacy of artificial stocking. We are fre- 
quently told of streams absolutely fished out in which trout 
have been thus re-established. One such is Black Brook, 
Hamilton, where this year many good strings were caught, 
many fish averaging from three-quarters to 1 pound. In other 
cases whole sections have responded to systematic stocking. 

The very dry summer had the effect of drying up a good 
many of the streams, and there was a considerable loss of 
young fish. There are many possibilities for further develop- 
ment in the trout fishing of the State. There are many streams 
which could be benefited by blowing out holes in them at 
varying distances; in arranging barriers which would form 
pools; in the felling of trees across streams in certain localities 
to give protection to the trout in exposed places; and in the 
prohibition of fishing in the feeder brooks. In fact, it is not 
too far-fetched to argue that the State should acquire the 
proprietary rights for long distances on either side of some of 
our more important and reliable streams, and turn them into 
public fishing grounds. On these streams the practices above 
enumerated could be followed. The feeder brooks should be 
closed to all fishing, and should be systematically stocked each 
year through the planting of trout eggs in the spring holes, 
fry in the upper reaches, and fingerlings further down; and 
in the protected areas in the main streams each fall a sub- 
stantial number of yearling fish should be planted, which would 



70 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

spawn in the stream that year. Such public fishing grounds 
can never be acquired at less cost than it would be possible to 
take them for to-day. 

Brown Trout (Salmo fario). 

The work of the year with respect to brown trout was a 
continuation of our effort to establish a stock of brood fish. 
(See report of the Sutton Fish Hatchery.) The brown trout 
are not stripped until they have attained the age of two years; 
hence no eggs have been taken from our stock thus far. Next 
year we will have our own source of supply, which will be 
supplemented by the purchase of additional eggs Until the 
yield of our brood stock is sufficient for all requirements. 

Arrangements have been completed to concentrate the brown 
trout work at the Palmer fish hatchery. The water there 
warms up more rapidly than at the other stations; hence it is 
favorable to brown trout rearing. The interest in brown trout 
noted last year continues to increase, and numerous inquiries 
have been received as to when fingerlings will be available for 
distribution. From this year's hatch there were planted in the 
West Branch of the Westfield River, at Chester, 2,000 year- 
old fish. This stream is especially favorable to brown trout, 
and least adapted to the brook trout, or entirely unsuitable 
for the latter. 

Chinook Salmon. 

For the reasons outlined in last year's report, no breeding 
of Chinook salmon was done during the past year. 

In several ponds an occasional specimen was taken. In Long 
Pond, Plymouth, upwards of 500 fish were taken during the 
entire open season. The supply of smelts has disappeared 
from the pond, as well as the large number of suckers. The 
herring planted in 1920, that the young might provide feed, 
spawned, and the young fish were seen circling the pond. There 
was apparently sufficient feed during the winter, but the salmon 
taken during the open season contained only a limited amount 
of food. Our wardens planted 1,000 young alewives in the 
pond during the spring. Whether or not the salmon in Long 
Pond are spawning is not known, but it is reported that small 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 71 

salmon were seen. If this is the case they were produced by 
the stock in the pond, as no plants have been made by us in 
1921. 

The completion of the fishway at Lowell opened the Merri- 
mack River from the New Hampshire line to the sea. During 
the spring efforts were renewed, but unsuccessfully, to locate 
any run of Chinook salmon in this river or contiguous waters. 
Though the fishway at Lawrence was in operation and some 
alewives passed over it, no salmon were observed at any point. 
Several rumors of the capture of salmon were investigated, in 
locations ranging from the Merrimack River itself to Chatham, 
where one was taken in a trap, but on each occasion the fish 
proved to be Atlantic and not Pacific salmon. One handsome 
specimen weighing 16J pounds was taken in February by a 
flounder dragger off Rockport, but proved to be an Atlantic 
salmon. During October and November the mackerel catches 
of the netting crafts landed at Gloucester were carefully 
watched, but while a few small fish of the Atlantic species 
were landed, not a trace of the Chinook or Pacific variety was 
found. 

As a side light on the problems of fish propagation and the 
efforts to restore species which have become practically ex- 
tinct, we mention the sturgeon, which found its way up the 
Merrimack River and established itself in the pool at the foot of 
the falls at the dam of the Essex Company, Lawrence. It 
created considerable local interest, and was eventually captured 
on June 25. It weighed 347 pounds and measured 8 feet in 
length and 18 inches in circumference. Time was when the 
sturgeon was a valuable food supply in our streams. Now 
they have deserted the rivers, being barred from their fresh- 
water spaAvning grounds by dams. 

Pike Perch. 
The same shortage of funds by reason of which white perch 
work was curtailed forced us to omit the collection and hatch- 
ing of pike perch eggs. Here and there we hear of pike perch 
being taken as the result of plants in former years. But here 
again, the singular condition prevails, that out of a number of 



72 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

representative ponds stocked there appears to have been but 
comparatively few where the fish have taken hold in good 
shape. Massapoag Pond, Sharon, which yields good catches, 
is one of the exceptions. 

The pike perch fishing continues good in the Connecticut 
River in and about Turners Falls but the fish are taken during 
the spawning season, and it is a question as to how far this 
should be permitted until they have distributed themselves 
over larger areas of the river. 

Negotiations have been practically completed to collect eggs 
for next year's hatching in co-operation with the State of Ver- 
mont and the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 



Pickerel. 

The reports this year reflect the beginning of the decline in 
pickerel fishing, which was inevitable on account of the heavy 
ice fishing, the capture of spawn-bearing females, and the prac- 
tice of market fishing. It is a matter for wonder that the 
pickerel have stood up as well as has been the case. But now, 
although some sections still report average good fishing, all too 
common are the reports that in well-known pickerel fishing 
waters, from which a few years ago good strings were taken, 
fishing is falling off. Both the strings and the fish themselves 
are running smaller, and fewer large pickerel are taken. The 
good fishing during the summer of 1920 and the winter of 
1920-21 was undoubtedly due partially to the thick ice of the 
previous winter (1919-20), which made it impracticable on 
many ponds to attempt winter fishing, thus practically amount- 
ing to a closed season. During the winter of 1920-21, owing 
to the openness of the season, there was less pickerel fishing 
than usual on many of the ponds. But in extensive localities, 
especially the western part of the State, about the usual amount 
of fishing was done. But the summer and fall fishing was re- 
ported as poor over a very large portion of the State. This 
would indicate that the respite given the fish during the winter 
of 1919-20 was insufficient to do more than give a noticeable 
increase during the following summer, and was completely 
neutralized by the drain on the supply during the past winter 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 73 

in most localities where winter fishing was possible. There is 
a noticeable increase in the number of ice fishermen. The 
ponds are becoming more and more accessible by reason of 
the more general use of the automobile and the number of 
additional camps. Winter sports are becoming more popular 
in which winter fishing has played its part. All of this has 
resulted in the killing of an increased number of female pickerel 
shortly before the spawning period, and this is reflected in the 
falling off of the pickerel fishing. 

It is only a question of time when the depletion will be such 
as to force additional protective measures. It resolves itself 
into the question as to whether we will take these precautionary 
measures before the stock has been so greatly reduced that it 
cannot quickly re-establish itself, or wait until the case is about 
hopeless. At this year's session the Legislature made sub- 
stantial steps in the right direction. It raised the legal length 
from 10 to 12 inches, and established a catch limit of 15 pickerel 
in one day; but it still permitted the sale of the fish which 
might legally be taken in one day, and made no provision for 
restriction of ice fishing. As stated many times in our annual 
reports, we are of the firm belief that the sale of all fresh- 
water fishes should be prohibited, the same as we prohibit the 
sale of all game. Any other policy is equivalent to putting a 
bounty on the fish taken, and there still exists in this State, 
as throughout the entire Nation, an element which is willing 
to exploit the natural resources for the few dollars represented 
thereby. We believe that, in addition to prohibiting sale, ice 
fishing should stop on the first day of February. We are 
reluctant to advise the complete prohibition of winter fishing, 
and suggest a compromise on this date in the hope that with 
the other protective measures it would make the more drastic 
measure unnecessary. With these steps taken we would be 
satisfied to await the result of two or three years before advo- 
cating a complete prohibition. 

Bass. 
Field operations in the collection of bass were limited to the 
taking of 84,000 fry from North Watuppa Lake, Fall River. 
These were nearly an inch in length, and were shipped direct 



74 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

to applicants. Larger collections had been contemplated, but 
when work began the fry were too far advanced for successful 
seining. 

More bass, both large and small mouth, were reported as 
having been taken this year than can be said of several years. 
In addition, more fishermen are beginning to appreciate the 
sporting qualities of the bass. It is a "finicky fish." For 
instance, one may go to a given pond on six days in succession, 
and the bass may bite on only one day, or possibly a portion 
of that one day, though as far as can be observed, the days 
differ little one from another as far as climatic conditions are 
concerned. But the fisherman who perseveres and is present 
on one of those days when the bass take hold will be amply 
repaid for his efforts if he will but use light tackle and fish as 
a sporting angler should. 

The bass are now protected during the breeding season. 
There is a catch limit and a mimimum length, but the daily 
catch may be sold. As far as a certain element is concerned, 
this latter proposition is equivalent to putting a bounty on 
every fish taken. The fishermen of this State should not rest 
until the sale of every species of fresh-water fish is prohibited. 
It seems too elementary to require emphasis from year to 
year, that you cannot kill your fish in the spawning season or 
during the period immediately preceding it; you cannot catch 
them in unlimited numbers; you cannot haul them to the mar- 
kets and sell them, and at the same time expect to have your 
stock remain normal or to increase so that it may meet the 
requirements of a rapidly increasing number of fishermen. 

White Perch. 
The usual seining and distribution of white perch was sus- 
pended in 1921 through financial shortage. The only distribu- 
tion consisted of 15,500 perch, secured by the seining crew 
working in co-operation with the Cape Cod Fish and Game 
Association of Falmouth in transferring stock from one local 
pond to several other ponds. We are very desirous of get- 
ting this splendid food fish well established in our ponds, 
and have followed it up systematically over a series of years. 
But the work is large and only recently begun. There are 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 75 

some ponds which are yielding good catches; in others, fish 
are coming along, but are still small; while still others have 
been stocked too recently to show results. In many other 
waters containing white perch the fishing is growing steadily 
poorer, and we have been unable thus far to give them any 
attention. But we recognize it as a worth-while line of work 
which we shall not willingly abandon. 

It is a singular commentary on things that while a white 
perch less than 7 inches in length may not be taken, nor more 
than 10 pounds in one day, no protection whatever is accorded 
this fish during the breeding season. We probably know less 
about the spawning habits of the white perch than any other of 
our fresh-water fish. The best evidence indicates that the 
spawning takes place over a considerable period, for which 
reason a longer closed period on perch than on many other 
species should prevail. It should certainly extend from March 
1 to June 15 in order to give these fish the benefit of the doubt, 
and it would perhaps be even safer to extend the close season 
until July 1. We believe that the rank and file of the fisher- 
men of this State, once they fully understand the situation, 
would much prefer protecting all species of fish during the 
spawning seasons, realizing with satisfaction during the time 
allotted to the catching of their favorite fish, that they were 
giving the fish every chance to propagate and thus increase 
the supply. 

Smelt. 

Following a generally open winter, spring came early, and 
the spawn-loaded fish made their first appearance at the Weir 
River, Hingham, on the night of March 8, nearly three weeks 
ahead of the normal year. Both water and weather offered the 
most favorable conditions possible, and by March 10 an abun- 
dance of smelt was to be found in all the streams. A very large 
run was observed in all the South Shore streams for two weeks, 
until about March 22, when the numbers began to fall off, 
notwithstanding favorable conditions, indicating the first run 
had completed spawning. The new run, from April 13 to the 
freshet of April 29 to May 1, was reasonably steady. To the 
best of our observation the 1921 run of smelt was the greatest 
in a number of years, being about 25 per cent greater than that 



76 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

of 1918, which was a record year. With the water at normal 
height throughout the season of 1921 there was no such de- 
struction of spawn as occurs when, during a freshet, it is de- 
posited on the high shoals, only to be left high and dry with 
the recession of the waters. The natural hatch was unusually 
heavy. 

The usual collection and hatching of smelt spawn was 
omitted this year by reason of lack of funds. A little experi- 
mental work was done in hatching spawn in jars at the Weir 
River field station, using the pond water, and 3,000,000 thus 
hatched were permitted to pass direct from the hatching jars 
into the river. The spawn hatched in thirteen days, a shorter 
period than when handled in the batteries at Palmer. 

Several bushels of spawn-covered grass were planted in the 
Jones River, Kingston, as has been done yearly since 1917. 

Careful observations have been made for several years on the 
smelt spawning in Weir River, Hingham, by Warden Orin D. 
Steele. The results of these observations are shown graphically 
in the accompanying chart. 

The three upper sections give the comparative run of smelt 
in terms of a 100 per cent run for the years* 1918, 1920 and 
1921. The contrast between 1920 and 1921 is decided, the 
total run being far greater and starting sixteen days earlier in 
1921 than in 1920. 

The lower section shows the intimate connection between 
the temperature of the water and the run of the smelt, the 
fluctuations depending upon the sudden changes in the tem- 
perature and the heavy rainfall. It appears that a temperature 
of at least 45° F. is necessary for the opening of the spawning 
season. 

No collections of fresh-water smelt were made for distril 
tion. The run at Laurel Lake, Lee, was scattering, and d 
parently the smelt are dying out, — a source of gratification 
local fishermen who believe them to be a detriment to ti 
fishing. At Onota Lake, Pittsfield, the run (March 23 
April 2) was not as heavy as in former years, but the fish weio 
large in size, averaging 1\ inches. The taking of smelt for 
food or bait at these two places was permitted as authorize 
by chapter 57, General Acts of 1919. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 77 



Horned Pout or Catfish. 

We learn that in many localities, though horned pout are 
plentiful, they run small. The fishing averaged fair this year, 
but with reports of depletion in many places. 

The horned pout is one of the most popular of food fishes 
of the State, and yet practically the only protection given to it 
is the catch limit of 40 in one day. It may be taken at any 
time of the year, even in the breeding season, and the daily 
catch may be sold as a commercial proposition. 

To the fisherman or the student who is honestly interested 
in the welfare of the wild life which supplies his sport there is 
no more interesting study than the breeding habits of the horned 
pout. It will repay any one to go to one of our great ponds 
during the early part of June to seek and watch the female 
pout convoying its brood of young in the shallow waters around 
the shores. And if he is of the right sort, he will go away re- 
solving that in succeeding years he will forego his sport from 
the first day of March to at least the fifteenth day of June, to 
give the species a chance. And he will also feel that any fish 
taken under the length of 6 inches (and it would be better 7) 
is so small that it ought to be put back. The horned pout is a 
hardy fish and will stand all of the treatment incident to this 
operation. There is the complaint that the pout in many ponds 
are small. This is not to be wondered at, for the brood stock 
is so nearly killed off that the fish are little more than holding 
their own. In many ponds the stock is being reduced, and 
in many others the fishing is practically gone. The time has 
passed when any fisherman should be permitted to go on to 
our great ponds, take his 40 horned pout in a day or a night, 
and market them to the public or to dealers. 

Special efforts are being made to establish the catfish in 
certain of our large rivers in which other species do not 
thrive. This is discussed in the section on " Inland Fisheries." 
Attention is also being given to the improvement of the stock 
already in State waters. In line with this, 100,000 horned 
pout were purchased in the fall and distributed. 



78 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Blue Gills. 

There are a number of comparatively shallow ponds in the 
State in which the water is warm, with abundant vegetation 
for the support of large numbers of vegetable-feeding fish. 
These ponds contain usually horned pout, white or yellow 
perch and pickerel, with a scattering of smaller species of 
sunfish. Believing that experiments should be made in the 
stocking with some species of sunfish which would attain a 
larger size and would have excellence as a food fish, work has 
been started with the blue gill. 

The blue gill is the largest of the sunfish, and attains a weight 
of nearly a pound. It is an excellent pan fish, and the gamiest 
of the sunfishes. It is described in Jordan & Evermann's 
''American Food and Game Fishes" as follows:' — 

Color, rich greenish olive on back, becoming paler on sides; top of 
head dark greenish; opercles and cheek bluish; opercular flap rich vel- 
vety black, a small whitish spot above near its base; side with three or 
four broad darker greenish bars; fins all greenish, the pectoral palest, 
reddish at base; a large black blotch on last rays of dorsal, a similar 
one on anal; the dark bars become obsolete in the adult; no blue stripes 
on cheek; no red on fins; old individuals often with the belly coppery 
red or brassy. 

It is a warm-water fish and propagates rapidly in waters 
favorable to it. (For details of work, see "Stockwell Ponds/' 
under " Field Propagation.") 

Fishing Privileges in Great Ponds. 
Permits to Seine SquibnocJcet Pond. 

Under chapter 124, Special Acts of 1917, permits to seine 
Squibnocket Pond on Marthas Vineyard were granted to F. 
Roger Allen of Chilmark, George W. Cooper, Wm. M. Marden 
and Arthur H. Vanderhoop, fishing together, and Amos P. 
Smalley, all of Gay Head. 

Though permission to seine has been granted in several in- 
stances, not only this year but in the past, results have never 
been particularly successful. Seining conditions this year 
proved unfavorable, and two holders did not fish at all. One- 
half barrel of perch, the same amount of herring and 19 pounds 
of perch was the extent of the salable catch. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 79 



Leases of Great Ponds. 

Two great ponds are now under lease for fishing purposes, 
under special acts, — Tisbury Great Pond, "West Tisbury, 
under chapter 39, Acts of 1919, for five years from Jan. 1, 
1920; and Chilmark Pond, Chilmark, under chapter 81, Acts 
of 1896, for five years from March 1, 1920. 

No fish were reported by the lessees as having been taken 
from Chilmark Pond in 1920. In 1921, 1,705 pounds of ale- 
wives were taken and sold for $44.79, and 8,440 pounds of 
perch, which were sold for $2,015.71. The pond has been 
restocked each year by opening it to the sea, permitting the 
entrance of alewives and smelt to spawn. 

The reports of the lessees of Tisbury Great Pond show that 
in 1920 approximately 5 barrels of perch were taken and sold 
for $230.53, and an unrecorded quantity of alewives sold at 
81 per barrel. In 1921, 62 barrels of white perch were taken, 
which were sold for $1,867.62, and 141 barrels of fresh ale- 
wives, which were sold for $141. An additional 150 barrels of 
alewives were salted for future sale. 

Screens. 
While the Legislature, under chapter 382, Acts of 1920, em- 
powered the Commissioner of Conservation to expend such 
sums as the General Court may appropriate from time to time 
for the screening of ponds and rivers, no action was taken 
during the year in the absence of such appropriation. 

Fish ways. 
During the alewife run of 1921, fishways, installed since 1918 
through the efforts of this Division, were in operation at the 
dams of the following concerns: — 

Connecticut Mills Company, Inc. . . East Taunton. 

Carver Cotton Gin Company . . . East Bridgewater. 

Jenkins Leatherboard Company . . . East Bridgewater. 

Stanley Works West Bridgewater. 

Ipswich Mills Ipswich. 

Essex Company Lawrence. 



SO FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

We take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the co- 
operation which has been given us by the owners of the ob- 
structions on the streams which are suitable for alewife fish- 
eries. The work in connection with the fishways was taken 
up actively some time after the war broke out, when extraor- 
dinary demands were made on all the manufacturing units 
with which we had to deal. The lack of help and the high 
cost of materials and labor were very unfavorable factors, to 
say nothing of a possible disarrangement of plans of the com- 
panies. Despite all this they have shown a disposition to work 
with us when once they fully realized the purposes of the plan. 
The Merrimack River has been opened from the ocean to the 
New Hampshire line, the Taunton River is nearly free from 
obstructions, and a substantial start has been made on the 
Ipswich River. Preliminary surveys were completed on certain 
other, rivers which will be detailed when the actual work of 
opening the streams has been accomplished. As stated many 
times, our objects are — to provide a greater supply of fish 
for human consumption, and to also produce in the coastal 
waters increasing numbers of small alewives to serve as a 
food supply which will attract other migratory fishes. 

Sangus River. 
No action was taken in regard to the establishment of new 
fishways at the dams of the Cellugraph Engineering Corpora- 
tion and the United States Worsted Company during 1921. 
The old fishways were tentatively in operation. 

Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers. 

The fishways at the Carver Cotton Gin Company, the Jenkins 
Leather Board Company and the Stanley Works were in op- 
eration, and, except for the adjustment of minor details as 
regards flashboards, were completed. The old fishways on the 
Nemasket River operated as in former years, and still require 
considerable alteration before they may become properly efficient. 

Construction work was started on the fishway at the dam of 
the Easton Investment Company, at West Bridgewater, on 
November 23, and on the 25th several masons were at work 
with a good supply of lumber and cement. The contractor 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 2.5. 81 

struck a ledge where this was not expected, but through the 
assistance of our consulting engineer this difficulty was over- 
come and the construction carried toward completion. 

Ipswich River. 
The Ipswich River presents three chief obstructions to the 
passage of migratory fish, in the form of dams owned, re- 
spectively, by W. F. Barrett, C. G. Rice and the Ipswich 
Mills. The establishment of fishways in the Ipswich River of- 
fers opportunity for the development of an alewife fishery, per- 
mitting this species to reach certain ponds in the headwaters 
for spawning. It will also prove a benefit to the fresh-water 
river fish, particularly as to the development of the brown 
trout in this river system which is now receiving our favor- 
able consideration. 

Ipswich Mills Fishway. — A straight-run fishway constructed 
at the Ipswich Mills in November, 1920, was in operation 
during the spring and summer of 1921, but proved unsat- 
isfactory during low water, as the lower entrance was over 
2 feet above the water level below the dam, thus making the 
passing of fish difficult or impossible. This matter was brought 
to the attention of this Department by Mr. John Russell of 
Ipswich, who noted that on May 5 many valuable breeding 
fish which had been carried over the dam in high water were 
unable to get back up the river. The fishway was visited on 
June 7 by a representative of this Department, who found that 
it was impossible for fish to enter the fishway, owing to the 
poor construction at the entrance. The Ipswich Mills expressed 
willingness to remedy this difficulty by building up an addi- 
tional compartment at the lower end of the fishway. 

Barrett Fishway. — Specifications and plans for a reinforced 
concrete fishway have been made for the dam of William F. 
Barrett at Norwood Mills, where an unsatisfactory fishway in 
form of a wooden chute had been installed by the owner. The 
matter was brought to the attention of Mr. Barrett, who was 
not particularly desirous of installing a fishway, inasmuch as 
no income of any nature was received from the dam. How- 
ever, it is hoped that a fishway according to plans approved by 
this Department will be installed next year. 



82 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Rice Dam. — The attention of the owner was officially called 
on July 31 to the question of installing a fish way, and was 
met with most courteous co-operation on the part of the owner, 
who volunteered to install a fishway according to our specifica- 
tions. A survey of the location was made, but owing to delay 
in formulating the working plans it was impossible to submit 
them before the end of the fiscal year. 

Merrimack River. 

The fishways in the Merrimack River have been, until the 
last quarter of a century, a time-honored institution. The 
various laws and provisions which have been made concerning 
them well illustrate their importance in the early days. The 
reinstalling of the old fishways at Lawrence and Lowell, which 
had fallen into such a state of dilapidation as to be useless, 
has in recent years been the subject of considerable agitation 
among the local sportsmen, particularly the Lowell Fish and 
Game Association, which culminated in an act providing for 
the work. 

Pursuant thereto the Division made a study of the dams 
at Lawrence and Lowell, plans and specifications were drawn 
up, and a fishway at the Essex Company's dam at Lawrence 
was completed Nov. 19, 1920. The difficult construction of 
this fishway required the expenditure of practically all the 
money provided by this act and additional appropriations of 
$16,000. For this reason, it was deemed inexpedient to start 
work upon a second fishway until the results from the Law- 
rence fishway could be ascertained. 

Lawrence Fishway. ■ — It was with special interest that we 
followed the results in the new Lawrence fishway, which for 
the first time in many years offered a passageway for migratory 
fish at this point in the Merrimack River. Since this fishway 
represented a considerable outlay, it is with satisfaction that we 
report its successful operation during the past year. 

The results in the spring and early summer of 1921 showed 
that a practical fishway for a 30-foot dam on a large stream 
had been devised, — a new departure in fishway construction; 
alewives were observed to ascend the fishway; the fishway was 
also used bv fresh-water fish. 



1921, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



83 



Difficulty was encountered in properly regulating the flow of 
water through the fishway. Arrangements were made to open 
it on May 1, but the excessive amount of water in the river 
at that time made it impossible to place the flume in position 
at the upper end of the fishway. On May 13 the fishway 
was operated with a good flow of water, which continued 
with considerable variation through the spring and summer. 
At times the flow of water was tremendous, at others slight, 
owing to the necessity of regulating the height of water at the 
dam by the Essex Company through the use of flashboards. 
An instance of this variation occurred on June 6, when, owing 
to the raising of the water level by flashboards, the volume of 
water passing through the fishway was such that no fish could 
overcome it. However, this variation should not prove a serious 
drawback, as during the important part of the season a uniform 
volume of water passes through the fishway, and methods of 
regulating the flow may be applied. 

At the time of opening the fishway alewives were noted in 
the water near the entrance and a few had entered into the 
lower pocket. On May 24 numerous alewives were observed 
in the various compartments of the fishway, and could be seen 
mounting the various steps. Shiners, dace and a few suckers 
were also observed, and suckers were seen to pass from the 
upper compartment into the river above the dam. Observa- 
tions were made from time to time by representatives of this 
Division, and a daily report was made by Mr. Warren G. 
Forbes, gate-tender for the Essex Company, as to the number 
and species of fish observed in the fishway from May 25 to 
July 6. The report of Mr. Forbes follows: — 



Observations at the Lawrence Fishway, 1921. 



Date. 


Alewives. 


Shiners 
Suckers, j and 
Dace. 


Eels. 


Trout. 


Sturgeon. 


German 
Carp. 


May 25 . 

May 27 . 

May 30 

June 2 

June 5 . . . 


12 
4 
25 

8 
10 


4 

1 
2 

2 


25 
12 
15 
10 
24 


- 


- 


- 


- 



84 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov 



Observations at the Lawrence Fishway, 1921 — Concluded. 



Date. 



Alewives 



Suckers. 



Shiners 
and 
Dace. 



Eels. 



Trout. 



Sturgeon 



German 
Carp. 



June 7 
June 9 
June 13 
June 15 
June 17 
June 19 
June 21 
June 22 
June 23 
June 24 
June 26 
June 27 
July 1 
July 6 



3« 



1 In fishway. 4 In lake at North Canal. 

2 In South Canal. 5 Large. 

3 Taken at base of dam. The fish was 8 feet long and weighed 347 pounds. 

In order to obtain information relative to the season when 
this fishway should be kept open, Mr. R. A. Hale, engineer of 
the Essex Company, agreed to allow the water to run through 
the fishway during the summer whenever possible, and for this 
reason the steel flume which connected the fishway with the 
crest of the dam remained in position until November 18. 
The former dates for keeping open the old fishways as required 
in 1876 were from April 25 to July 1 with a natural flow of 
water, and from August 25 to October 1, when it was permitted 
to restrict the depth to 4 inches. 

Additional evidence of the passage of fish over the Lawrence 
dam was given by the fact that Mr. Forbes found alewives in 
the South Canal of the Essex Company, and Mr. George W. 
Dearborn of Lowell found alewives and lamprey eels in Beaver 
Brook about one-quarter of a mile below the Pawtucket dam. 

The results from the Lawrence fishway are particularly inter- 
esting, inasmuch as some of the foremost fish experts in the 
United States have held the opinion that the pollution of the 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 85 

Merrimack River would prohibit the use of a fishway by 
anadromous fish, and that the fresh-water species would make 
little use of such a structure. We now know that alewives 
have passed through the fishway in spite of the pollution, and 
that the fishway has been used by various species of fresh-water 
fish. 

Acknowledgment is herewith given for the courteous co-op- 
eration of Mr. R. A. Hale and others of the Essex Company, 
who expended much time and labor in perfecting the operation 
of the fishway. 

The only disbursements, made from appropriations for the 
Merrimack River fishways, were $12 for photographs, $5.30 for 
lumber, $195.30 for steel for the Lawrence fishway, and $42.50 
for surveying for the Lowell fishway. 

Lowell Fishway. — The results with the Lawrence fishway 
showed that a fishway at the Pawtucket dam at Lowell 
was necessary, and steps were taken toward its installation. 
Conclusive evidence was at hand that alewives had passed up 
the Lawrence fishway and had been seen in Beaver Brook. 
None, however, were seen at the foot of the Pawtucket dam 
upon the visits of inspection of our representative, or upon the 
testimony of persons near by; but there w T as no question that if 
this species passed up the Lawrence fishway it would be only 
a question of time before they would assemble in numbers 
below this dam. 

A meeting of Commissioner Bazeley, Director Adams, Mr. 
Stafford of the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on Mer- 
rimack River, and various members of the Lowell Fish and 
Game Association, was held at the Pawtucket dam at Lowell 
on July 19, 1921, at which the situation was thoroughly can- 
vassed and a modification of the original plans as presented 
by this Division was permitted the owners of the dam, who 
agreed to entirely finance the installation, provided that they be 
allowed to construct the fishway according to their own plans. 

A committee of three was appointed for drawing up plans for 
this modification of the original fishway plans. Mr. R. Loring 
Hayward represented the Department of Conservation, Mr. A. 
T. Safford, the owners of the dam, and Mr. Geo. W. Dearborn, 
the Lowell Fish and Game Association. Mr. Havward and 



8G FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Mr. Dearborn acted only in an advisory capacity, submitting 
their advice and experience for the consideration of the com- 
pany, which could take or reject the same. The Proprietors 
of the Locks and Canals on Merrimack River, by rejecting 
the previously submitted official plans of the Department 
of Conservation, agreed to build at their own expense a fish- 
way which would be suitable, and, if unsatisfactory, to alter 
the same until satisfactory to the Department, and to waive 
claim to the five-year immunity from construction provided by 
chapter 130, section 19, General Laws. Therefore the owners 
assumed full responsibility for the installation of a practical 
working fishway. Work was started about Sept. 1, 1921, and 
the new fishway was completed by Nov. 14, 1921. It occupies 
the location of the former fishway and is built in an L-shape, 
following the Dracut side of Varnum Avenue to a point about 
50 feet from the dam, then turning at a right angle down the 
slope for 36 feet to discharge into a pool at the foot of the dam. 
The entire structure is constructed of reinforced concrete, and 
in certain respects resembles, on a small scale, the Lawrence 
fishway. 

Brightman Pond. 
On Nov. 12, 1921, a conference was held at Westport with 
Representative Isaac U. Wood of Fall River and the members 
of the Westport town council in regard to the fishway at 
Brightman's Mills. All the evidence at hand was presented 
in chronological order by our representative. Local testimony 
brought out the fact that a fishway formerly existed in the old 
dam which was washed away in 1886, and that the alewife 
fishery had existed for many years previous to the building of 
the present unsatisfactory fishway in 1905. It was decided 
that the town council of Westport get in touch with Mr. 
Haffenreffer, the owner of the dam, and see if some policy 
mutally agreeable to both could not be worked out for the best 
interests of the alewife fishery. 

Pollution. 
Pollution of the Bungay Brook in the town of New Boston 
has been investigated by us, and also the alleged pollution of 
the Middle Branch of the Westfield River. In the latter case 



I 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 87 

the whole river system was inspected, and it w^as found that 
from a number of camps and residences along the stream 
drainage from toilets and kitchen sinks had been permitted to 
empty into the river. The matter was taken up with the local 
water boards and the State Department of Health. Whether 
or not action will be taken by the Division will depend entirely 
on whether the pollution is such as to be dangerous to fish life, 
and on this phase of the question further investigation is 
needed. 

Pursuant to our policy of surveying various river systems 
a survey of the Mystic River system with reference to the 
problem of trade waste pollution has been started. Later the 
scope of this work will be extended to other rivers, treating 
each as an individual unit as regards remedial measures. 



88 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



PROPAGATION OF FISH AND GAME. 

General. 

A very careful study was and still is being made of all the 
stations with a view to reducing the cost of output. For ex- 
ample, we consider it better business to produce 2,000 pheasants 
at a cost of $4,000 than to produce 2,500 at a cost of $6,000, 
and we do not intend to operate any station on a larger scale 
than will produce results at a reasonable cost. It is not pos- 
sible to revamp the work at every station all in one year; but 
certain changes are already in motion, and others will be 
adopted from time to time as final conclusions are reached. 
For instance, with respect to the bass work of the future, it is 
a question whether the production of the past years and the 
future prospects will justify the continuance of the Palmer 
station as a bass hatchery, or whether bass work in all its 
phases should be discontinued except to seine up annually a 
sufficient number of fry to fill the station to its rearing capacity, 
distributing this fry when it has reached fingerling size. There 
are a number of ponds from which fry could be taken. This 
would eliminate the labor and expense of maintaining a brood 
stock of bass the year round, of preparing the ponds for breed- 
ing, all the labor incident to the hatching season, and the 
catching and transportation of adult bass to replenish depleted 
brood stocks (for the facilities at the hatchery do not admit of 
rearing fingerlings to adult size). To be sure, there would be 
the annual risk of failure because water conditions might make 
it impossible to seine the fry, but this risk seems to be no 
greater than the chance that, at the hatchery, changes in tem- 
perature might kill the eggs and defeat all efforts after expensive 
preparations for the hatching season had been made. Simpli- 
fication of the production methods means also very substantial 
savings in overhead, and equipment released for other lines of 
work. 

Excepting salaries and labor, the item of food for the stock 
of both fish and birds has been the heaviest item in the cost 
analysis of the large stations. A serious effort was made this 
year to reduce these costs, but without practical results. No 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 89 

satisfactory substitute has been discovered for the ground-up 
liver which is now fed to the trout fry and fingerlings. It is 
relatively an expensive food. We are alive to the fact, and 
purpose to continue the investigations in the hope that this 
item of overhead can be substantially reduced by the substitu- 
tion of some new food or of other ingredients used in com- 
bination with the liver. The feed of the adult trout is a com- 
bination of liver and lungs, and ground-up salt-water species, 
preserved in cold storage. Here, again, is a possibility for the 
substitution of less expensive food, but as yet no satisfactory 
combination has been discovered. 

Realizing the costs of labor efforts were continued to main- 
tain the essentials of an organization, relying as much as 
practicable on extra help during the busy seasons of the year. 

Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms. 
With the hatchery allowances reduced to the smallest possible 
amount on which it would be possible to operate the stations 
and still do business, the year's work was little more than the 
repetition of the work of any routine year. 

Palmer Fish Hatchery. 

Aside from minor repairs to the tenement house and the in- 
stallation of hot-water system and bath, no changes or im- 
provements were made. Two bass ponds started last year were 
put in condition for use this season for breeding ponds, and the 
large pond divided into two by a dirt bank, making easier the 
seining of the adult bass for transfer to the stock pond after 
the spawning season is over. There was no opportunity to 
complete the shiner pond started last year. 

All battery work was discontinued, the shortage of appropri- 
ations having precluded the usual field collections of smelt and 
pike eggs. The rearing of Chinook salmon is suspended until 
the result of past stockings is more fully known. The year's 
work was therefore confined to bass, trout and horned pout. 

Small Mouth Bass. — Each year there is more or less loss 
among the bass which are sent out for exhibition purposes, and 
from natural causes during the winter. The season started 
with 253 breeders brought over from last year. In May 158 



90 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

adults were procured from the water supply ponds at Fall River 
through the courtesy of the Watuppa water board, to make up 
the quota of breeders needed for the ponds. It was rather late 
in the season when these collections were made, and the stock 
secured proved inferior to the hatchery stock, being small, and 
one lot came through in poor condition. Consequently the 
hatch from these fish was not particularly satisfactory. Seven 
out of the nine ponds were used in the bass rearing work, two 
being used as stock ponds. The two new ponds could not be 
so used, having been finished too late to permit of the develop- 
ment of a food supply in the water, but they were utilized for 
the fingerlings. Owing to the lateness of the season and 
weather conditions — cold nights and sudden changes in the 
water temperature which killed a portion of the eggs — there 
was a loss in the bass fry this year. But, although an unsatis- 
factory fry year (the distribution was 48,000) it was a most 
successful one in the output of fingerlings, of which 70,535 were 
distributed. 

Large Mouth Bass. • — Not much was done in the way of 
large mouth bass propagation this year. From a small natural 
pond on the grounds there were seined and distributed 8,000 
fry and 8,625 fingerlings. 

Brook Trout. • — Egg collections from the wild stock in the 
brook were made as usual to add vigor to the brood stock 
at Sandwich. The 60,800 eggs taken were eyed out (some 
of the earlier eggs advancing to the fry state) and sent to the 
Sandwich hatchery — in all, 54,142. In return there were re- 
ceived from Sandwich the last of March 90,000 brook trout 
fingerlings, from 1 to 1J inches, for rearing. They were placed 
in three rearing pools, and made such rapid growth that by 
the first of June they averaged 3 inches in length. Distribu- 
tion was made by truck between June 7 and July 19. At the 
close of the distribution period there were 65,400 fish averaging 
5 and many 6 inches in length which were distributed in the 
brooks of Hampden and Hampshire counties. 

The rearing of the brook trout was an experiment to test the 
water for the development of advanced fry shipped from other 
stations. At Palmer the water is very cold in the winter, but 
warms up rapidly in the summer, so that trout eggs hatched 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 91 

there come late. The fry handled at Palmer this year came 
from Sandwich, where the artesian water used for hatching is 
much warmer than the pond water at Palmer; hence the eggs 
hatched early at Sandwich, and the fry was thus placed in the 
rearing pools at Palmer much earlier than would have been 
the case with eggs hatched at Palmer. The water warming 
up rapidly in the spring and early summer was favorable to 
rapid growth. The more or less crowded conditions of the fish 
and the rising temperature of the water required the distri- 
bution in June and July. But so rapid had been the growth 
that the fish were ready for it. It is hoped that the w r ater 
will not warm up to such an extent as will require distributions 
before the stock has attained an average length of 3 to 3f 
inches. In order to be fortified against such a state of affairs 
we have laid plans to transfer to this hatchery our brown 
trout operations. The fact that the brown trout can stand 
much warmer water than the brook trout should enable us to 
make any change in policy that the physical conditions may 
require. 

Horned Pout. ■ — Horned pout culture has consisted in re- 
taining in one of the ponds a limited number of horned pout 
breeders. This year, owing to a break in the dam by reason 
of a freshet, most of the small supply on hand was lost; the 
remainder, 3,250, were distributed. The 100,000 horned pout 
referred to elsewhere as purchased from a private dealer were 
also handled and distributed by the crew of the Palmer hatchery. 

Blue Gills. — There were 800 blue gills received last fall from 
Pennsylvania which were wintered in one of the bass ponds and 
in the spring shipped to the Sutton hatchery for rearing. 

Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 

The work at the Sandwich fish hatcheries proceeded on about 
the usual lines, with the exception of a few minor improve- 
ments. Replacement and repair work along with necessary 
construction was carried on with the general work of rearing 
brook trout. 

At the Sandwich hatchery ground was cleared and four 
wooden rearing pools placed at the upper end of the cement 
pools, and wells driven to supply them with sufficient w r ater. 



92 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Four additional pools were placed back of the hatchery build- 
ing and tile laid to supply these with water from the other 
pools. These proved very successful in fingerling rearing. 
Work was begun on two more wooden pools 200 by 4 feet 
which will greatly increase the rearing capacity. Frames were 
built and covered with wire to fit over all wooden pools to 
keep out destructive birds and animals, from which substantial 
losses have been suffered. A new head trough was built at 
Sandwich to supply the cement pools. At East Sandwich some 
grading improved the appearance of the grounds. 

There were 1,996,142 brook trout eggs handled, — 942,000 from 
the brood stock at Sandwich, 54,142 wild brook trout eggs from 
the Palmer hatchery, and 1,000,000 purchased to take the place 
of the eggs which should have been secured from the breeders 
at East Sandwich which were lost in the epidemic of 1920. 

In continuation of the experimental work in planting eggs 
in the feeder brooks to hatch naturally, 400,000 of the purchased 
eggs were so planted. From the purchased eggs a loss was 
experienced among the fry with fungus, but as the fish grew 
older this was overcome. As the rearing capacity was limited 
it was necessary to plant more of the fish as 1-inch fingerlings 
than would have been done had facilities permitted further 
rearing, but it was highly important not to crowd the stock. 
Distributions began in June and continued until the latter part 
of October, as follows: — 

Southeastern Massachusetts Fish and Game Association for 

rearing (1-inch finoerlings) 30,000 

Palmer hatchery (1-inch fingerlings) 90,000 

Canton Fish and Game Protective Association for rearing 

(1-inch fingerlings) 25,000 

Worcester County Fish and Game Association (1 and 2 inch 

fingerlings) 11,000 

Distributed in public waters (1-inch fingerlings) .... 239,000 

Distributed in public waters (2, 3 and 4 inch fingerlings) . 290,500 

Distributed in public waters (advanced fry) 50,000 

Retained as additions to brood stock 12,000 

There were 1,002 adults distributed in the course of the year. 
The disease which wiped out the brood stock at East Sand- 
wich in 1920 reappeared in some portions of the plant, making 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 93 

it advisable to plant at an earlier date than usual those fish 
which did not show any signs of it. It is our belief that these 
losses occurred from lack of complete sterilization of the ponds 
affected. The ponds were drained, all the sand and mud taken 
from the bottoms, the sides were thoroughly scrubbed with 
lime and copper sulphate, and every precaution taken which 
seemed available. In the light of those experiences the water 
was drained out of the ponds during the past fall, and these 
ponds, after being thoroughly cleansed, were refilled and a solu- 
tion of copper sulphate was made and allowed to soak into the 
ponds as further precautions for the coming season. The water 
in the supply pond was disconnected, and only that supplied 
by the artesian wells was used. 

Sutton Hatchery. 

The improvement program carried on was largely in finishing 
the work undertaken under a special appropriation in 1920 for 
pond replacement and improvement, and in rebuilding the ice 
house. All parts of the old house were replaced except one 
side and the portion of one end where the refrigerator was 
located. Concrete was used to a point G feet above the sill, 
with an interior wall of chestnut, and any future repair work 
can be done without disturbing the shell of the building. The 
capacity was increased by 50 per cent, and is assumed to be 
ample for ordinary needs. 

The program of general improvement carried on toward the 
close of the previous year had necessitated much cleaning and 
adjustment about the grounds, and this was carried on during 
the winter, as the generally prevailing open weather permitted. 
The brook was cleaned to the head springs, the channel deep- 
ened and made ready for fry pools, and an extensive program 
of cutting was carried out where the wild growth had en- 
croached on the grounds. Trees about the grounds were 
pruned, and many not essential were cut out. The last of the 
dying chestnuts were cut into logs and drawn to a mill for 
sawing into lumber. The gravel pit was kept open and gravel 
carted over the soft ground when frozen to the lower part of 
the brook, and stacked up for future work. Much outside 
repair work and painting was done on the buildings, and this 



94 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

was continued through the summer vacation period. The old 
hare crates were repaired and 25 new ones made. There were 
502 new fish cans, destined for all stations, painted two coats, 
some three, — -equivalent to painting 1,104 cans, and all were 
marked with a four-line stencil of 70 letters. 

Brook Trout.- — At the beginning of the year 2,450,000 eggs 
were received from commercial dealers, this supply being in- 
tended to be the quota for Sutton, a part of the quota for 
Amherst and Montague (to be shipped to them later), and the 
supply for egg planting. There were 437,000 distributed in the 
five western counties in the egg-planting experiments, and 
455,000 reshipped for hatching at Montague after being held 
in the colder water until hatching was delayed so they could be 
handled at Montague without dangerously crowding the hatch- 
ing facilities there. 

There were 330,000 of the fry hatched and transferred to 
Amherst (less by 150,000 than the number intended for that 
place, owing to the discontinuance of pool construction for the 
season). The egg distribution was also smaller than planned, 
and in consequence there was a distribution of fry in the 
headwaters of suitable brooks to use up the surplus, amount- 
ing to 360,000. The remainder of the eggs constituted the sta- 
tion's supply for the year's work. 

During the whole period from the time the eggs were received 
until the fry were feeding the operations were nearly normal, 
less work on the eggs because of the light loss, but more on 
the fry, apparently because the defectives showed up more in 
the fry than in the eggs. The fry in feeding showed a greater 
tendency to drift down with the current, and the loss was 
heavier in the beginning of feeding among those that had not 
strength to change from the yolk feed to the liver, and from the 
drift against the screens. 

An added burden was the difficulty in coping with the 
excessive number of predatory birds and the unusual number 
of small yearlings left in the ponds, with a loss from them 
proportionally large. Otherwise than stated the fry started 
well and made a promising growth in the early period and 
in some of the best ponds went to the end of the season with 
no trouble or check in growth, but in the line of ponds on the 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 95 

south side, and the smaller pools above, extending up the 
brook, the stock was decimated by chronic fungus, starting 
late in June and lasting through July. This was not unusual 
in its beginning, and many similar outbreaks have been sup- 
pressed quickly; but before it had progressed far the water 
supply decreased abnormally from the effects of the severe 
June drouth, and it took on a more virulent type that 
was very difficult to handle. The lack of any extra room, or 
overflow pools, made it impossible to take the most effective 
measures, ■ — thinning out and changing to new waters. 

Following this, while the fish were widely distributed in all 
rearing pools to get the most rapid growth to meet the policy 
of distributing a larger size, the movement of herons when the 
young left the nests and began ranging about for food brought 
in an unusually large number, and troublesome losses followed, 
heavier than in any year since the period, fifteen or more years 
ago, when it was necessary to closely cover all ponds. This 
increase of herons was general, and all stations where fingerling 
rearing was done had the same experience. An exchange on 
this subject was made with Sutton, Sandwich, Montague and 
Amherst, and it was agreed that the losses at all four could 
not have been less than 100,000 fish. If there is a permanent 
increase in herons, it may necessitate using covered ponds and 
a measure of control of the heron population to protect the 
hatchery stock and the wild trout as well. 

The distribution came later by reason of the decision to 
grow the fingerlings larger, and partly by the reluctance of 
applicants to take fish at a time when the shrinkage of the 
brooks in the drouth made ultimate loss seem certain. The 
faults of a system which requires the availability of several 
people to move fish also slowed the work. But this will al- 
ways be present so long as we must rely on the public to 
distribute the stock. These delays, on the whole, worked to 
advantage, as it seems certain that earlier stocking would 
have largely been destroyed by the effect of the drouth in 
shrinking the streams. The trout would have been deprived 
of the means of hiding or escape, becoming easy victims of the 
herons, mink and raccoons that were reported working on 
these nearly dried streams. 



96 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

There were 2,020 yearlings shipped to Amherst. The year's 
distributions to public waters reached a total of 360,000 fry, 
103,570 fingerlings, and 1,725 yearlings. 

Brown Trout. — The work with brown trout was continued 
with a consignment of 100,000 brown trout eggs from a New 
York dealer. The fry was put largely in the former brood 
pond to get the greater growth obtainable there. This growth 
was secured, but the results in numbers were very poor, owing 
to the large proportion of very feeble fry. This fry appeared in 
numbers around the pond and near the screen, making little 
attempt to find food and not surviving long. This is not the 
usual condition with brown trout fry, which normally is hardy 
and vigorous, and these qualities must be sought in our own 
brood stock kept under conditions that will produce it. The 
brown trout, on the whole, made a better showing than the 
year before, and produced better results. The West Branch 
of the Westfield River at Chester received 2,000 yearling brown 
trout in April. At the close of the year there were on hand 
approximately 800 yearlings, 2,000 fingerlings destined for 
rearing to brood stock, and 2,000 fingerlings for future dis- 
tribution. 

Montague Rearing Station. 

Montague rearing station was operated the entire year, and 
this period was substantially taken up in handling the crop of 
fish from the time the eggs were placed in the troughs, late in 
1920, until the fingerlings were distributed, late in 1921. Other 
work, carried on according to season, time available or means, 
filled in the year with a program of continuous activity, and 
accomplished marked results in construction, upkeep and pro- 
duction. 

Through the winter period, when in previous years the sta- 
tion had been closed, the crew was employed in pond con- 
struction and general outdoor improvement, and the work done 
then was largely instrumental in the increased production, 
which was nearly 100 per cent. 

The fry were started in a much more varied range of condi- 
tions than the previous year, and they did well in all pools 
except in the wood pools first built; but these and the channel 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 97 

pools, having a flow of water too strong for fry, could be 
stocked from an excess of fry carried in the starting pools. 
The newer pools were made by excavating in the spring areas, 
and were mostly fed by numerous minute springs in the sides 
and bottoms, and by reason of the soil had shallow margins. 
This led to a very considerable loss of fry during the migration 
of robins. They quickly learned to catch the fry in the shallow 
water, and fished very persistently. This may have been a 
temporary condition and possibly will not recur; but if it 
becomes a regular trouble this type of starting pool will have 
to be changed. Both robins and cat birds eat trout fry readily, 
but it is not often that they can catch them in any numbers. 

Pools were developed by excavation around the tributary 
springs, and by building up with the material washed down 
from the work in the main channel. This work was done largely 
where the indented shore of the large pond on the north side 
offered a chance to cut off three arms of the pond and make 
three large rearing pools by carrying a dyke of the washed 
material down that side. The water supply from these ponds 
was taken in part from the brook, but numerous springs about 
the shores of each made a supply nearly sufficient. Due, per- 
haps, to the combined water supply, these ponds proved excel- 
lent for starting fry, and developed fingerlings so rapidly that 
after one crop was distributed the ponds were refilled from the 
brook. 

On the main brook, extending down from the point where 
construction of fry pools was discontinued because of the swift 
current and large volume of water, a series of pools suited for 
growing yearlings or adults was started, and three were finished 
for yearling stock. 

The small brook was put into use by replacing the old sand 
dams and digging and widening the channels. 

The lower course of the east branch was changed, and for 
some distance was carried down the valley parallel to the main 
branch for the construction of the same type of pools, this line 
ending in a large pond of the best type for growing large 
fingerlings. 

On a tributary of the east branch that received considerable 
surface flow one new pond was built. 



98 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The hatchery building was fitted with new troughs that fully 
doubled the capacity, and additional troughs were made to go 
with the old ones for an outside stand to get the required 
capacity for fry. 

An extensive and varied program of improvement on the 
grounds was carried out, largely the details of finishing around 
the ponds and clearing for new work that could not be taken 
up the first year. 

Along the valley, where the previous heavy growth had left 
numerous stumps, and the wash of the brook had covered a 
maze of logs and corduroy road, dynamite was used freely to 
blow the stumps and debris out of the ground, and it was piled 
tip and burned in great quantities. 

Eggs were received for hatching, 455,000 from Sutton and 
561,000 from dealers. 

There were 40,000 eggs used in stocking streams in the egg- 
planting experiments, and 48,500 fry were sent to Amherst 
before beginning to feed. Later 40,000 half -inch trout were 
transferred to the Amherst rearing station to make better 
growing conditions for those remaining. The rest, numbering 
310,950, were carried until they reached the 3-inch size; 
300,950 were distributed over a period from July to November, 
and 10,000 reserved to grow to yearling size. There were 
500 yearlings sent to Amherst and 4,090 distributed to public 
waters. 

Montague has reached a very large fingerling capacity, and 
a large proportion of these grow so rapidly that an early dis- 
tribution is possible, though somewhat forced by the pools 
filling to capacity, and at present the most urgent line of work 
is to build for a greater number of the fast-growing fingerlings, 
and carry them longer for better quality. 

. Amherst Rearing Station. 
Amherst was operated as a rearing station, opening in 
March with the feeding of fry, and closing in November when 
the fingerlings and yearlings were distributed, and as a one-man 
station during the greater part of the time. The only assist- 
ance provided was for getting the ponds in condition at the 
beginning of the season, and for handling the fish during the 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 99 

heaviest of the distribution. In consequence of this, such im- 
provements as were made were intended for making it more 
practical for one man to do the work. 

At the beginning of the fiscal year work was undertaken to 
remedy some of the deficiencies of equipment; the shed used 
for can storage and meat room was rebuilt with a combination 
storage and ice house and meat-grinding room, a motor was 
installed for meat grinding and a line built for bringing in 
electricity. The camp was moved to a new location on a 
permanent foundation, where it could be enlarged or rebuilt 
and made to serve better its intended use. About midsummer 
a small garage was built near by, largely from materials at 
hand. The road was substantially rebuilt. 

Since no funds were available for pond construction or in- 
crease of rearing facilities, work of this kind was limited to such 
time as could be spared from the ordinary routine work, or 
accomplished with the crew that was used for the general 
cleaning of the station in the spring. 

The pools along the course of the brook were enlarged and 
fitted with more permanent barriers and larger and more secure 
overflow screens, and were extended down the brook where the 
current was too strong for fry, and enlarged to a size suitable 
for yearlings. Three pools were built on the left side of the 
brook below the dam. 

The ponds were stocked with 48,500 fry from Montague, 
330,000 from Sutton, and, during the summer, with 40,000 
fingerlings from a surplus at Montague. There were received 
from Sutton 2,020 and from Montague 500 yearling trout. 
The general results were very good, and the fingerlings, because 
of being kept long enough to get a good growth, were an ex- 
ceptionally fine lot. The general distribution was 184,300 finger- 
lings and 1,260 yearlings. 

The conditions for growing the fish were nearly normal 
through the season, no floods were experienced from rains, and 
the severe drought did not materially affect the water flow. 
During the early part of the season the fry on one branch, 
evidently because of coming from yearling stock, showed a 
tendency to drift downstream, and during the same period 
fungus attacks were chronic. The stock was not materially 



100 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

reduced below the capacity of the ponds, and the chief adverse 
effect was in the extra amount of work at a time when it could 
not be readily handled. 

Later in the season the abnormal increase of herons that was 
general this year had its effect in persistent raids on the fish, 
until all the visiting birds were killed. The necessary pro- 
tection for the fish involved a great amount of time and effort, 
and considerable loss resulted, although it was apparently less 
than at other stations where conditions were less favorable for 
protecting the fish. 

Marshfield Bird Farm. 

Considerable progress was made toward perfecting the hatch- 
ing and rearing equipment at the Marshfield bird farm. In 
the course of the year 84 new 20 by 10 portable brooder pens, 
wire-covered at top and sides (and painted with three coats of 
white paint) were completed. This necessitated grading a large 
part of the orchard, which was done by taking down a hill and 
filling in the lower lands. A larger heater was installed in the 
brooder house, and the heat extended through the lower part. 
Pipes the entire length of the house were covered with Upson 
board, and hinged sides built that might be lifted up for 
cleaning. The yards in front of the large brooder house were 
entirely completed, the tops covered, and division fences 
built. Cemented approaches to this house were made to keep 
out the vermin which had caused the heaviest losses of the 
previous year. The yards adjoining the brooder houses were 
graded and covered with loam to insure a rapid growth of 
green food from time to time. 

At the beginning of the year the brood stock numbered 650 
adults, all the product of the game farm. When curtailment 
of activities by reason of money shortage became necessary, 
this stock was reduced by the distribution of 256. 

The egg collection totaled 15,020, of which 301 were broken; 
138 infertile under hens; 3,158 proved infertile in the incu- 
bators and were rejected; 4,104 contained dead germs; and 
181 set in pheasant nests in pens, with a total hatch of 7,138. 

Of the hatched birds, 3,255 were lost, 351 unaccounted for, 
3,332 distributed with a balance of 200 for future distributions. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 101 

During the previous year the hatching and rearing was en- 
tirely by the use of incubators and the heated brooder houses. 
The figures would indicate a very large percentage of loss by 
the operation, but when compared with the actual losses by 
the use of the hens and field-rearing methods it appears that 
the percentage of loss is very close. The advantages derived 
from the incubator-brooder-house method are the concentra- 
tion of the work on a small area with resulting reduction in 
overhead expense of operation. We do not say that the use of 
this equipment in pheasant production has gone beyond the 
experimental stage, but believe that we are on the right track 
in our effort to produce substantial numbers of birds at a 
decreasing cost of production. 

Sandwich Bird Farm. 

During the winter of 1920-21 work on the combined winter- 
ing and breeding yards for the pheasants was continued and 
partially completed. The method of keeping the stock during 
the breeding season in large yards was the system followed, 
and so far has proved satisfactory. Xo additions were made to 
the quail or wood duck rearing units. 

In order to carry on in a modified way the principle of the 
incubator and brooder houses five chicken houses were re- 
modeled and coal-burning brooders installed. Adjoining each 
house was built a temporary yard. 

Pheasants. — At the beginning of the breeding season in 
May, 152 breeders were available. They laid 4,860 eggs, all of 
which were incubated at the station either under bantams or 
in incubators. During the first part of the season it was found 
that the type of incubator used was not the best for the pur- 
pose, and this undoubtedly went far toward reducing the total 
of birds raised. 

Of the 4,860 eggs set, 2,222 young were hatched, the balance 
being represented by broken eggs and dead or infertile germs. 
From the young hatched, about 600 were raised. Distribu- 
tions were made of 530, and 40 held for brood stock. The 
balance of 30 birds is represented by 11 killed by vermin, and 
19 at large which escaped when nearly full grown; 22 adults 
were distributed. 



102 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

This was the second season of breeding pheasants at this 
station, and the first where the brooder house was used to any 
extent. While the production from the latter was not satisfac- 
tory, we have already started to reconstruct the brooder units 
and to install more of the best type of incubator. The experi- 
ments of the past year in using the large wintering yards as 
breeding pens proved to be fairly satisfactory. We believe that 
the results will be greatly improved during the coming year 
by the use of fewer cock birds, making available an increased 
yard space. 

Wood Ducks. — At the beginning of the year 73 adult wood 
ducks were in winter quarters. At the time of transfer to 
summer breeding yards, March 15, the number had been re- 
duced to 66 by the death or disappearance of 5 and the dis- 
tribution of 2. 

There were 402 eggs collected, 12 of which were distributed 
and 390 set under hens; 28 were broken, 71 infertile, 74 con- 
tained dead germs and 217 hatched. There were 130 raised 
beyond the danger point, and then, as the young had more 
liberty, rats and a large turtle decreased the number actually 
brought to maturity to 77. Distribution was made of 71, and 
6 were placed in the yards with the adults. In the fall 3 
adults were sent out for exhibition in the public park system of 
New Bedford. 

The question might well be raised as to the advisability of 
continuing to breed the wood duck if viewed purely as a sport- 
ing proposition. But there was a time in the past, and not far 
distant, when this most beautiful of all our ducks was con- 
sidered to be on the way to extinction. Fortunately, the in- 
tervention of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has surrounded it 
with a protection which bids fair to restore it in reasonable 
numbers. In the meantime we believe that it has been the 
part of wisdom to continue the artificial propagation. There is a 
class of people, numerically large, who neither hunt nor fish, but 
who are tremendously interested in wild life. Having in 
mind this fact, we feel that we would be remiss in our duty if 
we failed to do our part in the rehabilitation of a species 
which lends itself to artificial propagation, though presenting 
many problems in such a connection. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 103 

Quail. — On Dec. 1, 1920, there were 136 adult quail in 
winter quarters, and 42 more in and around the bird farm 
which had escaped during the late summer. While during the 
winter there was very little snow on the ground, the birds did 
poorly and the death rate was greater than ever before ex- 
perienced, so that by May 1 only 51 remained. 

These were placed in breeding quarters, and the losses ceased 
until two weasels and a cat killed and injured 23 in a space of 
a few weeks. This completely destroyed some pairs, broke up 
other pairs, and disturbed the rest, retarding laying and re- 
sulting in poor eggs. Later, weasels destroyed 14 more, and 
others died, leaving only 5 which were released about No- 
vember 1. 

The 141 eggs laid were set under bantams; 84 hatched, and 
40 were reared, 36 of which were distributed and 4 remained 
about the farm. Only 2 adults were released. 

Wilbraham Game Farm. 

This year marked a turning point in the history of the Wil- 
braham game farm. When the financial situation required the 
closing of one of the stations, the Wilbraham game farm was 
selected, for the production had been gradually falling off over 
a period of several years. 

Year in and year out the old method had been followed of 
hatching and rearing by bantams and turning the chicks into 
the rearing fields, subject to the same dangers and mischances 
to which the birds in the wild are subject. By the old pro- 
cedure eggs were set under bantams and hatched, and the hen 
with her young placed in a small coop in the rearing field. 
Under these conditions the chicks became contaminated with 
body lice from the hens, involving endless work in greasing 
and dusting them. Much time was required every night to 
shut the young in the boxes with the old hens, and to release 
them in the morning. Feed was placed on a board near the 
pen, and that which was not eaten at once, soured. Many of 
the young were trampled to death under the hens, and hundreds 
wandered off never to be heard of again. Any great change 
in weather, or a cold, heavy rain meant enormous losses, as 



104 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

the chicks had no protection except the small coop, and prac- 
tically none against vermin. 

The amount of labor required was so enormous, and the 
losses in the rearing fields constituted such a large per cent of 
the hatch that for a couple of years the conviction had been 
growing on us that our stations were not producing birds at 
anything like the cost at which they could be purchased from 
private breeders. A radical change in procedure had been under 
consideration, even if the financial situation had not forced 
it somewhat prematurely. The conclusion had been reached 
that in the breeding of pheasants efforts should be directed 
to the substitution of incubators and brooder houses for hens 
as the means of reducing the cost per bird. The beginning 
of efforts on this line had been made when mallard duck rearing 
at Marshfield was discontinued and pheasant rearing begun by 
the method we had in mind and desired to test. Marshfield 
had been selected for the experiment because it was the only 
station equipped with an incubator house and a sufficiency of 
incubators and brooder houses for the trial. The first year's 
test, even with imperfect equipment, was so satisfactory that 
it seemed the part of wisdom to continue on these lines 
and gradually introduce the new methods at the other game 
farms. 

By the henless method much work is eliminated, — all the 
care of the poultry, the preparation of nests and setting of 
hens, the removal of the hens off the nests and exercising them, 
and feeding and watering them each day; also all field work 
with the young stock, because, from the time of transfer from 
the incubator house to the brooder houses they are under 
absolute control. Changes in temperature have no effect, 
because the houses are kept at a uniform temperature, and the 
killing rains of the spring have no effect because the birds at 
all times have proper protection. 

Therefore, with a successful method in operation at Marsh- 
field, and an unsatisfactory one at Wilbraham, plans were made 
to close the latter as of June 30. At the Sandwich station 
pheasants had been reared but one year, and it seemed in- 
advisable to abandon the work just getting under way there, 
as well as the wood ducks and quail. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 105 

The proposed closing of the Wilbraham station was widely 
discussed in the press, and so much misunderstanding arose, 
through lack of knowledge of the real facts in the case, that 
it seemed only fair to all parties to thoroughly air the situation. 
With this end in view, open conferences were held by the Com- 
missioner and Director on May 6 in the four western counties. 
With better understanding a much better feeling followed. 
But the actual closing of the game farm did not become neces- 
sary, for the ways and means committee authorized a transfer 
to the fund for propagation work of 81,000 intended for new 
construction at Montague, SI, 200 for construction at Palmer, 
and S800 from the appropriation for marine fisheries. 

Changes in methods at Wilbraham were set in motion, ■ — a 
combination of incubator-brooder and bantam methods, — 
and at the end of the season a good year's work can be recorded. 

To put the new methods into operation some remodeling of 
the plant was necessary. All the wire netting enclosing the 
game farm was taken down and rolled up for future use or 
utilized at other stations. To house the stock, two henhouses 
were remodeled into ten 10 by 10 feet brooder houses, with sand- 
covered floors and equipped with coal-heated brooders. But, 
owing to lack of funds and labor (for the working force was 
reduced to the superintendent, his wife and one assistant) the 
buildings were very crudely finished. Early in the season the 
houses were too cold at night, and later it was almost impos- 
sible to keep them from overheating. The heat drew the 
boards apart and left wide cracks in the walls. Three covered 
frames were made and placed in triangular form about the 
hovers to protect the chicks from the cold winds of early 
spring. Before another rearing season these houses are to 
have a rat-proof cement floor which can be cleaned with a 
hose, which will keep them more sanitary with less labor. 

For use in connection with the brooder houses ten 36 by 
24 foot, wire-covered yards were built, each containing a burlap 
covered frame set on posts 2 feet high for protection from 
sun and showers. The large yards were built on grassland, 
which provided green food and a hiding place for the small 
birds. Another building is being remodeled into a 20 by 30 
feet brooder house for next season's work. 



106 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Under such a system the young birds once placed in it 
come out either dead or alive, and we know what has happened 
to them and thus may profit by any loss, as distinguished from 
the field-rearing practices of the past, where hundreds of birds 
disappeared without any opportunity on our part to study 
causes of disappearance and seek the remedy. 

As soon as the chicks were strong enough to leave the house 
the frames previously mentioned were set up to form a small 
yard, gradually enlarged until chicks were old enough to have 
the run of the whole yard. 

The year's work started with 509 adult pheasants on hand. 
The first eggs were laid March 29, about nine days earlier than 
usual. The total egg collection was 17,056. Lacking facilities 
for handling all early eggs, some had to be distributed and 
later-laid eggs used for hatching. The later eggs being always 
inferior in fertility, this reduced the per cent of hatch and 
made late birds for distribution. Egg distribution totaled 
7,413. Losses in handling amounted to 103, and 6,880 were 
set in incubators and 2,660 under hens. The per cent of fer- 
tile eggs was very nearly the same by both hens and incubators, 
the balance being slightly in favor of the hens. There was no 
noticeable difference between the two methods in rearing the 
chicks, but a really accurate comparison could not be made 
under existing conditions, as the equipment is still very im- 
perfect. For instance, if the incubator house is properly ven- 
tilated the lower current is too strong, which affects the 
temperature of the incubator unfavorably. 

The total young hatched was 4,206, of which 2,304 young 
birds were lost from all causes. A large number escaped 
through the wire before the yards were finished; at four dif- 
ferent times the gates were left open and a pen of birds 
liberated; and about 75 young pheasants between five and six 
weeks old were taken when the henhouses were robbed. But 
the losses from disease and vermin were very small. The great- 
est loss was from an overheated incubator. Every year there 
is a considerable loss during the flight of the "rose bug." 
Some birds were lost from accident, others from packing and 
chilling. If chicks were allowed full range of the house they 
were chilled, and if confined close to hover were over- 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 107 

crowded. There were raised to maturity 1,902 pheasants, 
1,698 of which were distributed and 204 retained for brood 
stock. There was considerable loss among the brood stock 
during the summer, owing to accident, escapes, old age and 
lack of help to care for brood stock with the thoroughness of 
former years. Adults distributed, numbered 172. 

As in previous years, green food was grown for summer 
feeding and a large quantity stored for winter use. The change 
in methods necessitated a change in the number of feedings per 
day and kind of food, more green and animal food being given. 

The usual fight against vermin was maintained, and 2 cats, 
104 rats, 2 horned owls, 4 crows, 1 sharp-shin hawk, 1 red- 
shoulder hawk, 4 gray foxes and 2 skunks disposed of. 

Field Propagation. 
Stockwell Ponds. 

In the effort to discover a species of warm-water fish suit- 
able for such of our depleted waters as are unfit for trout, 
the blue gill sunfish, propagated in the hatcheries of Penn- 
sylvania, seems to offer promise. Studies of methods followed 
in that State were made, arrangements completed for a supply 
of stock, and a study made of possible locations in Massa- 
chusetts where the work could be carried out within financial 
resources. 

The so-called Stockwell Ponds in the western part of Sutton, 
which are considered also for the culture of pout and perch, 
appeared to possess for blue gill culture special features of great 
value in the well-ordered tract of land that covered the neces- 
sary flowage, and a development of dams, ditching and grading 
that would make it possible to complete the control of the 
flowage and drainage. Arrangements have been made to take 
the property under lease with an option of purchase under 
very reasonable conditions. This is in line with our policy 
to always determine the value of a water area by actual use 
prior to purchase. 

The Stockwell Ponds consist of four ponds resulting from 
four dams located on a mile of the main ditch of this area, 
which was formerly used for cranberry culture. 



108 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The area of the lot exceeds 80 acres, and is bounded for the 
full length on the west side (H miles) by the county road lead- 
ing from Millbury by Lake Singletary to West Sutton; at two 
points it is cut through by town roads crossing on the first and 
third dams from the lower end. This road system gives com- 
plete access to any point necessary to reach. 

The upper dam, at what is locally called the Arnold Pond, 
when full will flow 12 acres. 

The next pond, called the Middle or Schoolhouse Pond, and 
sometimes the Beanville Pond, at present covering 12 to 15 
acres, will increase the flowage to over 20. These ponds are 
best adapted for breeding ponds by the character of the shores, 
which, by reason of being very inaccessible, give the adult fish 
very good protection. 

The next basin is the flowage area for the lower dam, built 
to operate a saw and grist mill. About 5 acres of the upper 
part of this pond will be covered with water only slightly, and 
probably not enough to smother the grass that is growing very 
rank there now. This area can be made into an unequaled 
breeding ground for horned pout by the use of dynamite to 
blow out ditches and cross ditches, until the whole area will be 
a maze of intersecting channels and small islands, under the 
banks of which pout can excavate their nests with perfect 
security. This feature will make this pond most of any adapted 
to horned pout breeding, and it has, like the pond above, inac- 
cessible shores, so that the adult fish will be well protected 
against poaching. 

The small area of the mill pond is the only place in the area 
where the bottom loses its flat character and the stream makes 
a rapid descent; consequently, while this pond is small, it is 
the deepest of the chain. Public roads border on two sides, 
one on the embankment that makes the dam, and since it is 
exposed to fishing and has a restricted area suitable for 
breeding it can be used to the best advantage in growing a 
stock of fry in an experimental way, especially some of the 
perch that would be undesirable in the ponds above. Any 
escapes would go down to Lake Singletary, which is already 
stocked with bass and white perch, and is well suited for pike 
perch. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 109 

The old wheel pit below the road, about 30 feet across and 
15 feet deep, offers excellent facilities for the construction of 
equipment for handling fish; sorting pens can be constructed 
where all fish not taken out above can be run down as the 
ponds are drained, sorted and graded for final disposition, and 
if jar hatching is added, the same pens can be used with only 
the addition of jars to make the equipment complete. 

The work done thus far, while not extensive from the point 
of expense or time employed, has covered the most essential 
things for the orderly development of the pond system while 
permitting its use at the same time. 

The temporary work done in the summer of 1921 flowed be- 
tween 15 and 20 acres, about one-third where the water was 
raised on old flowage with lily root bottom, and two-thirds on 
brush and grass land, which was flowed to kill the vegetation 
and prepare the land for future use. 

In April 800 two-year-old blue gills, received through the 
courtesy of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, were placed in 
the ponds. They bred fairly well, but the extent of water 
they are in is so great for the number put there, that the 
greatest increase would not warrant a distribution before the 
second generation begins to breed. 

Horned pouts can be grown in the same ponds with the blue 
gills, and there is an economic value in doing this, as an area 
of water as large as this under consideration will have a greater 
production by using it for breeding the two kinds. The whole 
system is well adapted to growing them, and it has been pointed 
out that some areas are exceptionally fine for breeding grounds. 
The native stock in the ponds was of unusual size and quality, 
but few in numbers owing to the small area flowed when the 
ponds were taken over. 

Stockwell Ponds, when finally developed, will also serve as a 
very favorable breeding ground for black ducks and wood ducks. 

Shaker Mill Pond. 

Authority to control and use Shaker Mill Pond, Aver, for 

a brood pond, from which the natural increase could be seined 

and distributed, was acquired in 1920. There were 200 large 

horned pout and 200 large yellow shiners put in that year. 



110 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



But lack of funds has thus far precluded the repairs on the 
dam which are necessary to conserve the water supply, which 
at present is reduced to a chain of shallow T pools. This loca- 
tion, after repairs of the dam, promises to yield a good crop of 
fish yearly at small expense. 



Game Breeding by Private Enterprise. 
Since the possession of game birds for propagating purposes 
and the sale of such propagated birds for breeding or food 
was legalized by sections 81 to 88, chapter 131 of the General 
Laws, a certain amount of breeding has been carried on by 
private individuals, some on a large scale, but mostly in a 
small way. The following tables, summarizing the reports of 
operations required by the terms of the permits, are of interest 
as revealing the extent and character of this activity: — 











Number 

of 
Reports. 


Number 
of Birds 

or 
Animals 
hatched. 


Number 
of Birds 

or 
Animals 
reared. 


Number 
on Hand 
at End 
of Year. 


Numbeb 

OR 


SOLD, EXCHANGED 
GIVEN AWAY. 




Year. 


For 
Food. 


For 
Propaga- 
tion. 


Eggs sold, 

ex- 
changed 
or given 
away. 


1912 




167 


3,451 


No data 


2,117 


201 


925 


1,599 


1913 








372 


8,181 


No data 


7,265 


941 


2,374 


3,706 


1914 








314 


11,272 


3,336i 


7,024 


809 


1,303 


3,696 


1915 








420 


12,341 


6,5532 


7,637 


1,519 


1,809 


4,950 


1916 








470 


12,450 


8,245 3 


8,619 


1,420 


2,979 


2,081 


1917 








331 


7,614 


4,024* 


5,178 


1,012 


1,443 


1,988 


1918 








238 


4,273 


2,0175 


3,469 


356 


997 


1,491 


1919 








222 


4,181 


2,200" 


3,404 


340 


583 


836 


1920 








215 


3,567 


2,182* 


3,163 


278 


585 


486 






i 2,428 
2 2,968 

* 4,516 

• 1,420 


oheas 
pheas 
pheas 
pheas 


a 

a 
a 
a 


its, 2,338 d 
its, 2,786 d 
ats, 3,134 d 
its, 2,066 d 


ucks, 525 i 
ucks, 597 | 
ucks, 444 < 
ucks, 509 | 


;eese, 43 qi 
jeese, 202 q 
jeese, 140 c 
;eese, 21 q\ 


lail, 2 deer 
uail. 

uail, 4 swa 
lail, 3 ruffe 


ns, 3 deer, 
d grouse, 5 


4 squirrels 
deer. 


. 



5 701 pheasants, 918 ducks, 396 geese, 2 deer. 
8 723 pheasants, 1,053 ducks, 421 geese, 3 deer. 
7 631 pheasants, 1,149 ducks, 400 geese, 2 squirrels. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. Ill 



FISH AND GAME DISTRIBUTION. 

No radical changes were made in distribution methods. The 
plan of using the rearing stations as centers of distribution, 
each for its particular locality, and the increasing distribution 
by truck, is being steadily developed. More and more in- 
dividuals and associations are being encouraged to call at the 
hatcheries for stock, both of birds and fish. Much of the fish 
distribution from the hatcheries to near-by points was accom- 
plished by the use of 5-gallon cans, of which several can be 
conveniently carried in a small touring car. All this means 
reduced transportation costs, less service of attendants, and 
far less loss of valuable stock in transit by reason of shorter 
trips. 

Particular attention was given to the reduction of the losses 
of fish in transportation, realizing that a shipment of fish rep- 
resents a large expenditure of labor and money over a long 
period of time to produce them, and is of too great value to be 
lost through improper handling. 

Distribution facilities were increased by the addition of 500 
cans, which enabled the stations to keep their stock moving with 
fewer of the tie-ups suffered in past years through failure of 
consignees and railroads in returning cans promptly. Distri- 
bution by truck has brought an appreciable reduction in the 
money loss of past years represented by unreturned cans. 

The cost of fish distribution was S3, 507. 37, as against $6,995.72 
in 1920. Of this, $2,543.40 was for messenger expenses, 
$923.75 for teaming, $32.39 for ice, and $7.83 for miscellaneous 
expenses. 

There were no white perch, pike perch or smelt distributions 
this year in the absence of funds to finance the work. 

The experimental planting of eyed trout eggs in feeder brooks 
was continued, and 877,000 eggs planted in selected streams in 
all parts of the State. We are well satisfied with the results. 
It is true that plants in some streams were a partial or total 
loss, as when the flood water from a heavy thaw smothered the 
eggs with silt or washed them away; when, in another instance, 
the receding water left the eggs to freeze; and when, in another, 



112 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

they were eaten by water insects. But in the great majority 
of cases the reports were good, running to the effect that in 
June the brooks where the eggs had been planted were full of 
young fish. 'While the unusual summer drought destroyed 
large quantities of fry, this was no fault of the planting method. 
The history of one particular Hampshire County stream, 
stocked with eyed eggs in 1920 and again in 1921, which was 
entirely destitute of trout when the first plant was made, is 
particularly interesting as told in the report of the warden who 
made the plant and watched the stream: — 

The brook has turned out some trout this year that were from 6| to 
7 inches in length, and this is the result of the eggs planted Feb. 24, 1920. 
There were no trout to be seen in the brook when the owner of the land 
and myself planted the first eggs in it in 1920. To-day there are fry in it 
and a great many fingerlings that will measure from 4 to 7 inches in length. 
The owner told me that he fished the brook last week [the report was 
made June 27, 1921] and caught 18 over the 6-inch limit. He is the only 
one that has fished the brook, as no one thought there were trout in it. 
The stream is not posted. 

In addition to the experiment with eyed eggs, the plan of 
planting very small fry (surplus from our hatcheries) in the 
headwaters of suitable streams was inaugurated. The brooks 
were selected very carefully, and 360,000 fry from Sutton, 
50,000 advanced fry and 239,000 1-inch fingerlings from Sand- 
wich were planted. The wardens under whose direction the 
work was done were detailed also to follow progress. They 
reported that (except in certain streams that dried up entirely, 
resulting in total loss) the fry made good growth, and were 
seen later in the year as sturdy fingerlings. 

No pheasants were purchased for liberation this year, the 
entire output being from the State game farms. 

There were 1,073 white hares bought in Maine at a cost of 
$1,279, with an additional cost of S309.61 for transportation, 
and $67.23 for material for crates. 

It is a pleasure to acknowledge once more the courtesies 
granted by the several railroad companies over whose lines our 
stock is carried, and to the express companies which have 
shown a desire to co-operate in every way possible in the suc- 
cessful handling of crates of birds and animals to the various 
points of delivery. 



1921.] 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



113 





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1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 115 



MARINE FISHERIES. 

Inspection of Fish. 

While the work of this office for the year 1921 has been pro- 
ductive of distinctively good results in some directions, the 
scope of operations was materially circumscribed by certain 
changes made in the fish inspection act in the process of con- 
solidating the statutes into the General Laws, which became 
effective Jan. 1, 1921. By these changes, which were evidently 
clerical misinterpretations of the original act, and made without 
consultation with this office, it became practically impossible 
to prevent the sale of third-grade fish by retail dealers. One of 
the main purposes of the original law being to prevent fish of 
this grade (which is suitable only for preserving) from reaching 
the householder through retail markets as fish suitable for fresh 
consumption, it will be at once apparent how the work was 
handicapped along what would have been one of its main 
channels for effective operation. An effort will be made to have 
the law returned to its original intent at the coining session of 
the Legislature. 

It developed, too, under an opinion from the Attorney-Gen- 
eral, that the powers of the inspector of fish and his deputies 
for enforcement were considerably limited by the absence of 
sections giving specific authority for search and for condemna- 
tion of fish found unfit for food or held or offered for sale con- 
trary to law. With these limitations unexpectedly becoming 
known it naturally followed that the effectiveness of the act 
was greatly impaired. 

The activities of the inspector of fish and his deputies are 
now set forth in section 8 of chapter 21, and sections 74 to 82, 
inclusive, of chapter 94, of the General Laws. 

In June, 1920, a permanent and a temporary deputy in- 
spector of fish were added to the staff, — William H. Sullivan 
of Charlestown and Wesley J. Duggan of Roxbury, respectively. 
These were provisional appointments under civil service. Fol- 
lowing a competitive examination the appointment of Mr. 
Sullivan was confirmed. After two and a half months of service 
in temporary capacity Mr. Duggan's services terminated on 
August 17. 



116 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Work of the Deputies. 

From June 1 to November 30 inspections were made of 980 
stores selling fresh or frozen fish in many cities and towns. 
The fish stores in each of the 38 cities and 19 of the towns were 
visited, and, while general conditions ranged from fair to good, 
much room for improvement was found. Many dealers were 
unacquainted with the law and regulations, and it was notice- 
able, too, that in many instances fish were being sold to the 
public by men whose knowledge of fish and what constitutes a 
good fish was, to say the least, quite limited. At every market 
visited, the law and its objects were carefully explained, and 
copies of the law, the regulations, and a plainly worded ex- 
planation of the law were left. 

It was found that many meat markets were selling fish on 
Fridays, stocking up with fresh goods for that day, and working 
off any surplus on the following days, with the result that poor 
fish was reaching the consumer. The situation created by the 
flaw in the law which failed to prohibit retailers from having 
third-grade fish was met as diplomatically as possible with 
moral suasion and corrected in several instances. 

Besides the State-wide inspections, the 44 stores on the 
Boston Fish Pier, as well as the 100 peddlers who resort there 
for their cart supply, were inspected at least once a week, and 
frequently more often. This weekly inspection was also given 
the 15 wholesale fish stores on Atlantic Avenue and the 12 
carts which form a picturesque outdoor Saturday afternoon and 
night market on Blackstone Street, Boston. The inspectors- 
noted improvement by both the peddlers and at Blackstone 
Street when it became evident to the proprietors that their in- 
spection was to be regular and not spasmodic. Frequent in- 
spections were made of the Boston retail markets. The public 
cold-storage plants were also inspected. 

In every instance the deputies found hearty co-operation from 
the boards of health in the various cities and towns visited; 
indeed, inspections in several places were made at the request 
of the local boards, and beneficial, and, it is believed, lasting 
results obtained. Reinspections of stores were made in several 
cities and towns, and these generally showed conditions im- 
proved since the initial visit. With the present force it is 




East side of Boston Fish Pier, showing schooner just discharged of her fish fare, steam otter 
trawler taking out a trip, and fish carts in which fish are conveyed from crafts to stores. 
Note the coverings on the carts to protect the fish from the sun. (Cut used by courtesy 
of Whitman, Ward & Lee, fish dealers, Boston Fish Pier.) 




One of the stands at tl 



famous Blackstone Street, Boston, out-of-doors Saturday 
noon and evening fish market. 



ifter- 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 117 

possible to visit annually only little better than one-third of the 
nearly 3,000 markets selling fish. 

Blackstone Street Cart Conditions. — Noticeable to those who 
have occasion to visit the locality is the condition of the carts 
which make up the Saturday afternoon and night Blackstone 
Street outdoor fish market in Boston. Every Saturday after- 
noon and evening since June a deputy inspector of fish has been 
on duty there, and after the law was fully and painstakingly 
explained to the stand proprietors, many of them showed their 
belief in the idea that better quality of fish would attract more 
trade by offering higher grade fish than formerly, and a very 
general improvement was noted. The deputy kept careful 
watch here, and at his suggestion many pounds of fish below 
the quality required by law were at varous times discarded to 
the waste barrels voluntarily by the dealers. They were also 
induced to place awnings or covers over their outdoor stands 
in the interest of cleanliness. It is felt that continued inspec- 
tion here will work for even better results, and it is planned 
to continue the supervision on each Saturday. 

Peddlers 1 Supply. — Throughout the year every effort has 
been made to keep up to standard the fish products as sold to 
the people of Boston and vicinity by peddlers from carts. There 
are over 100 of these carts. They purchase their stock on 
Thursday afternoons from the dealers at the Boston Fish Pier. 
At times, and in some instances previous to inspection, the 
stocks purchased were not up to the required mark. A deputy 
inspector has been on duty at the pier every Thursday after- 
noon with this peddler "fleet." Suasion has been used here 
with good results, but, as in the case with the Blackstone Street 
market, it is a branch of the business which should be syste- 
matically followed up in order that the best results may accrue. 
These peddlers reach a trade mostly of hard-working people not 
in a position to patronize the higher-priced stores, and who 
should be given every protection the law affords, both as to 
price and quality. 

Cheap Salmon for the "Fourth." — One single instance will 
serve to illustrate the worth of fish inspection. On June 27 
the inspector was called by one of the largest fresh fish con- 
cerns on the Boston Fish Pier to inspect a carload of fresh 
salmon which had arrived that day from Quebec Province, 



118 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Canada, through a Montreal dealer, and intended for the 
Fourth of July trade. 

The fish pier dealer stated that he had disposed of the car- 
load of 127 boxes, weighing about 25,000 pounds, to various 
wholesale dealers on the pier, reserving 21 boxes for his own 
trade. On opening the latter he found the fish not in the first- 
class condition he expected. He turned the lot over to the 
inspector, giving him the services of three of his floor men. 
Examination showed that the fish had evidently been packed 
in snow or snow ice, which had entirely or almost entirely 
melted, and that considerable time had been consumed in mak- 
ing up the carload for shipment. It developed, also, that the 
shipment started in a refrigerator car, but arrived in an ordi- 
nary freight car. Every fish was inspected separately. Few 
if any were found in first-grade condition, many were of second- 
grade quality, good for food if quickly disposed of, many were 
fit only for smoking, and quite a number were unfit for food. 

Furnished by the dealer with a list of the firms to whom he 
had sold the salmon, two deputies took up the task of inspec- 
tion, meeting with no opposition, but assistance, at the stores 
having the fish. Every fish of every box was accounted for 
and inspected. The fish fit for food were quickly disposed 
of to markets in Boston and vicinity, and thus many were 
enabled to have a good Fourth of July salmon dinner at a 
very reasonable price, while the remainder of the carload, 
except the unfit for food, were expeditiously smoked. 

But for the fish inspection law it is probable that the whole 
carload might have been sent to smoke, and thousands of 
families thus deprived of a good dinner at a comparatively 
cheap price. On the other hand, some of the third-grade and 
unfit fish might have fallen into not too particular hands and 
sold at prices above which their quality warranted. 

From the time of inspection at the pier the two deputies 
covered the markets to which the salmon were sold on each 
day up to the Fourth of July to see that the fish were in suit- 
able condition for food. 

Of the shipment of about 25,000 pounds, 2,817 pounds were 
sent to split and smoke as third-grade fish; 2,007 pounds were 
dumped as unfit for food, and the balance, as noted above, 
was sold as second-grade fish. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 119 



Inspection of Producing Points. 
Besides covering the "shack" situation at Gloucester, the 
inspector of fish personally made a survey of fish conditions on 
Cape Cod, taking in Provincetown, Truro, Chatham, Hyannis 
and points between; also Nantucket, Vineyard Haven, Edgar- 
town, New Bedford and Rockport, — all producing points. 
Visits of general oversight were also made in Boston and 
several of the large cities to observe conditions, in all, num- 
bering some 125 inspections. Besides this, the office routine 
was kept up and numerous complaints investigated. 

Improving Quality of Splitting Fish. 

Feeling that under the fish inspection act there were grand 
opportunities for accomplishment in a large way for the bene- 
fit of the fish-consuming public and the wholesale fish dealers 
at the same time, the inspector of fish took up one idea, — 
that of improving the quality of some of the " splitting" fish, 
so called; that is, the fish that, by splitting, salting, skinning 
and boning, becomes the salt fish that is shipped all over the 
country in from 1 to 40 pound packages, and also exported in 
"drums," the basis of the "salt-fish dinner," the staple meal, 
for which some 20,000,000 to 35,000,000 pounds of fresh fish 
are landed annually at the great curing and shipping plants at 
Gloucester. 

During several recent years there were landed many millions 
of pounds of fish, especially in the warm weather months, of 
what were termed "third-grade" fish, in capacity vessel loads, 
often poorly and insufficiently iced, but still considered suitable 
for the splitting and salting previously mentioned. During the 
war, when greatly increased production of fish was necessary 
for export to meet the greatly increased demands of some of 
the allied nations, and also for home consumption to replace 
the wheat and beef sent across to the allied armies, highest 
quality was of necessity at times almost lost sight of in the 
efforts to keep up the extra-quantity production so sorely and 
imperatively needed. The sudden signing of the armistice found 
unusually large stocks on hand, and the following season's large 
catch also was landed practically in "war condition." 



120 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

In consultation with most of the large Gloucester dealers the 
inspector of fish found them all alive to the value of improv- 
ing the quality of splitting fish landings, and ready and willing 
to accept the assistance of the inspector in putting their fish 
product on the highest quality plane. Captains and fishermen 
were also interviewed. They, too, sensed the fact that to con- 
tinue as during the war was to invite possible serious conse- 
quences to the welfare and future of the industry, and were 
outspoken for action. The Fishermen's Union, through its lead- 
ing officials, also favored close inspection of fares; and thus, 
with dealers, captains and fishermen agreed that something 
should be done, and all feeling that adequate fish inspection 
would work not only to their own benefit, but that of the fish 
consumer, this office continued its endeavors along the line first 
planned. 

Following several consultations with the Gloucester Fish Ex- 
change, which includes practically all of the fish shippers and 
curers of the port, and also with officials of the Fishermen's 
Union, this office on March 21 sent a letter to the Gloucester 
Fish Exchange setting forth the situation and asking co-opera- 
tion. This, and several consultations between the Gloucester 
Fish Exchange and the inspector, resulted in the following 
regulations being issued by the Exchange, copies of which were 
sent broadcast to the trade and throughout the New England 
fishing fleet: — 

Gloucester, Mass., April 12, 1921. 

To Masters and Crews. 

Gentlemen: — The undersigned dealers of Gloucester again find it 
necessary to advise with the masters and crews concerning the cure and 
handling of fish. 

We have a letter from the State Inspector of Fish, copy of which is 
attached, calling our attention to the necessity for improving the quality 
of our product. He expressly calls our attention to the necessity for 
co-operation with his Department to the end that the standard of splitting 
fish may be improved. 

No Fresh Eastern Fish After May 1. 
Realizing the necessity for improving in so far as possible the quality 
of the fish produced, we must insist that the following rules be carried 
out. Inasmuch as the greater part of our troubles are due to the bringing 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 121 

in of so-called "shack" fish during the summer months, we have agreed 
that hereafter we will not buy the fare of any vessel that sails from 
Gloucester or Boston on or after May 1 on an eastern shacking trip. 
Therefore it is necessary that all vessels going to the eastward on or after 
May 1 until October 1 carry salt and bring in their whole trip salted. 

Salt Fish must be White. 

We must also call your attention to the necessity of having the fish 
dressed shortly after being caught and before they are sun-cooked; also 
that plenty of clean water be used so that the fish will not have blood 
stains, and also that plenty of salt be used to prevent taint and to secure 
that "white color" which the trade demands. 

In past years when we had a good export business we could use fish 
that were not quite so white as are needed for the domestic business, but 
as there is very little prospect of getting back the foreign trade, all the 
fish that we will take in must be suitable for domestic purposes. It there- 
fore becomes necessary that fish be well split, washed and well salted 
in order that we may have a product that will enable us to compete with 
other markets, and build up a business in Gloucester which will be profit- 
able to all concerned in the industry. 

Western Fresh Fish must be New. 
A western trip of fish must be gilled and thoroughly iced. In fact, fish 
landed to splitters must be of market quality to receive full splitting 
prices. Buyers are cautioned against taking out of ice more fish than can 
be split and salted in the day's work, and crews of vessels are urged to 
help the situation by working on trips when requested in order that all 
fish may be handled when in the best condition. 

In order to encourage the kindliest feeling between the buyers and the 
fishermen, and to avoid dispute in connection with the quality or a fair 
and proper price for the whole or any portion of a trip, and if a difference 
of opinion arises, which cannot be satisfactorily adjusted between the 
buyer and the seller, the former will call in three disinterested buyers, 
who shall, without charge, state what is a fair price for the fish in 
question. 

Gorton-Pew Fisheries Company. 

Davis Brothers Fisheries, Inc. 

P. J. O'Brien & Co. 

Parkhurst Fisheries Company. 

Gloucester Salt Fish Company. 

Frank C. Pearce Company. 

Frank F. Smith & Co. 

Wm. H. Jordan Company. 

Booth Fisheries Company. 

Henry E. Pinkham Company. 

Charles F. Mattlage & Son. 



122 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

On the whole, the plan worked out well, and the captains 
generally showed a disposition to live up to the Exchange pro- 
visions, and not since the "shack" fishery was first engaged in 
has there been landed such a generally fine quality of fish for 
a whole summer season. 

Trips were made in shorter time, from a week to ten or 
twelve days being the average, and the crafts brought fares 
of from 70,000 to 125,000 pounds. The crafts carried gener- 
ally from 30 to 40 tons of ice to care for their catches, as com- 
pared with the fact that the shack trips of recent previous 
summers were generally three weeks or more in length; that 
the fares brought in ranged from 150,000 to well over 200,000 
pounds; and that but from 12 to 25 tons of ice were carried 
by many of the craft. 

It should not be assumed that the plan worked out perfectly. 
It is a fact that a few "eastern" trips "got by," and that some 
fish below the very high standard set reached the wharves, 
although few if any on a par with the third grade of the past 
few summers reached the knives of the splitters. It also de- 
veloped that some trips from the eastern grounds, caught in 
quick time and well iced, were landed in good condition. 

With reference to this co-operative move at Gloucester it 
may be said, on the authority of some of the leading Glouces- 
ter dealers, that the edict above quoted, published in all the 
leading Nova Scotia and Newfoundland papers, had the effect 
of causing the fishermen and firms at the fishing ports there to 
take extra care of the fish intended for American consignment, 
with the result that their salt fish came through to the Ameri- 
can market generally in better condition than in the previous 
few years. It also had a good effect on the summer landings 
at the Boston Fish Pier, there being no need at any time 
during that period of looking to eastern-caught fish to supply 
the market. The receipts from the Banks to the westward of 
the 66th parallel of longitude were steady, constant and of 
greater volume than usual, and the fares caught in brief time, 
which insured fish in the freshest and newest state possible. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 123 



Recommendations. 
In closing, the inspector feels it his duty to make three 
observations: — 

1. The law, which was framed with the intent of protecting 
the fish-consuming public and the honest dealer, needs strength- 
ening to the extent of giving the inspector and his deputies 
definite powers as to the right of search, seizure and condem- 
nation. A few sections should also be revised to admit of but 
one clear, definite interpretation. 

2. With nearly 3,000 establishments handling or selling fish, 
it is evident, in order to insure a maximum of efficient enforce- 
ment and to give the fish-buying public the full measure of 
protection intended by its framers and set forth in the various 
sections of the act, that a larger force of deputies is needed. 
At present there is but one deputy in service, and one tem- 
porary deputy was employed for less than three months during 
the summer — all that the appropriation for this work per- 
mitted. 

3. In its annual report to the Legislature for 1921 (House 
Bill No. 1260) the Special Commission on the Necessaries of 
Life made the following recommendation: — 

9. One of the great assets of the Commonwealth is its fisheries. They 
should be the source of much excellent and low-priced food. At 
present they are in a precarious condition and should be rehabilitated and 
encouraged to their fullest extent in order that the people may receive 
the full benefit of this great natural food supply. The Commission there- 
fore recommends that a thorough study be made of our fisheries in regard 
to production and distribution of their products. 

The above statement cannot be too strongly endorsed and 
corroborated. It should be taken most seriously and deserves 
definite and immediate action in the interest of public welfare. 

The Fisheries College. 
The "fisheries school," so long talked of, has become an 
actuality, for a course in fisheries engineering has been pro- 
vided at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a result 
of the meeting in Boston of interested persons with Prof. John 



124 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

X. Cobb, Director of the College of Fisheries of the University 
of Washington. The idea of a fisheries school, or fisheries 
course, as presented to Professor Samuel C. Prescott of the 
Department of Biology of the Massachusetts Institute of Tech- 
nology by a subcommittee of the initial gathering (comprising 
President Gardner Poole of the United States Fisheries Asso- 
ciation, John C. Wheeler and Russell Palmer), fell on fertile 
ground, and as a result the course in fisheries engineering was 
opened at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Octo- 
ber. The course has had the approval of the Federal and 
State fisheries authorities and the general fisheries interests. 

The Bureau of Fisheries will detail experts to aid in instruc- 
tion, and fisheries men have aided in a financial way. This 
Division has asked in the annual budget for $3,000 to aid in 
securing competent instructors. 

The importance of our fisheries as a national asset has for 
many years not been as fully recognized as the subject merits. 
While one of the results of the war was to call the attention of 
Americans to the high value of fish foods as sources of energy, 
and to the advantage that could be derived from the consumption 
of more fish and less meat, we are still far below other nations 
in the per capita consumption of this type of food, and persist 
in failing to take full advantage of these great storehouses, — 
the oceans, the Great Lakes and our smaller lakes and streams. 
To cultivate these vast sources of food supply, to protect them 
from the harmful effects of sewage contamination and manu- 
facturing waste, and to make it possible to distribute these 
highly nutritive products throughout the country has now be- 
come public duty. In this, educational institutions should take 
a part. Now an opportunity is offered of undertaking studies 
in a new and interesting field, to which the name of "fisheries 
engineering" may be given. When it is borne in mind that 
the fishing industry was for decades one of the fundamental 
industries of America, and second only to agriculture, and that 
it still ranks very high in our productive enterprises, it may 
properly be regarded as a field to which the aids of applied 
science and technically trained men should be directed. 

It may be claimed justly that here is an industry of enormous 
magnitude and still greater possibilities which has received 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 125 

almost no attention except through the work of the Bureau of 
Fisheries at Washington and the conservation commissions or 
departments of a few States, whereas all branches of agricul- 
ture, stock raising, forestry, oil production, mining, and other 
industries based upon or utilizing the great natural resources, 
are being fostered and aided by a large number of agencies. 
Let it be recalled that every State has at least one college of 
agriculture and one experiment station or more, all devoting 
time and money to help the farmer, the fruit grower or the 
stock raiser in the solution of his problems. Let it be remem- 
bered that at least a dozen schools of mining exist, even in 
States having no important mineral wealth, and many more 
are attached to technical schools and State universities. Sim- 
ilarly, and still more directly comparable with the fishing in- 
dustry, schools of forestry have sprung up in considerable 
numbers, the aim of which is to aid the lumber industry, save 
the forests from depletion by unintelligent methods, conserve 
the timber supply indefinitely, and apply science to what was 
formerly done "by rule of thumb." 

The training essential for men of this type, who will eventu- 
ally become leaders in a great basic industry, must be broad as 
well as practical. As good citizens and men of affairs, they 
must have general as well as specialized knowledge. Hence the 
course of study which they follow should be strong in general 
studies, such as English, economics, mathematics and chemical 
and physical sciences. In the specialized fields there are cer- 
tain lines of prime importance. Obviously, the first to be con- 
sidered is the biological, for the men must know much about 
fish, their habits, their enemies, their foods, their breeding pecu- 
liarities and their life histories. Since the fish are to be frozen, 
dried, canned and preserved in various ways, as well as sold 
fresh, knowledge of the causes of spoilage and deterioration is 
essential. This involves a thorough study of microbic life or 
bacteriology, and, parallel with this, studies in organic chemis- 
try and bio-chemistry. As the preservation of food materials 
by refrigeration, dehydration, salting, smoking or canning is 
based in every case upon the destruction or inhibition of bac- 
terial life, the technology of fishery products is in part a bio- 
logical matter. It is in part, also, a matter of methods and 



126 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

machinery, hence the fisheries engineer must have a sound 
fundamental training in mechanism, in the type of engine he 
is likely to have to use, and in its proper control. Under the 
subject of heat engineering he acquires training to ,meet these 
demands. The mechanical and engineering subjects, therefore, 
comprise a second group. Navigation may also be included 
here. 

A third group of subjects deals with the economics of the 
industry, with its industrial relations, and with general busi- 
ness administration. Accounting and cost accounting, statis- 
tics and their collection and use, industrial organization and 
business management, and business law supply the needed fun- 
damentals in this field. Under the general subject of business 
management will appear such important matters as transporta- 
tion, publicity, marketing, sales management and the many 
other phases of activity of a properly organized industry. A 
group of subjects bearing on public and personal hygiene and 
plant sanitation equips him for this phase of his future work. 

The course in fisheries engineering, as it has thus been briefly 
and roughly characterized, is comparable with the other four- 
year courses offered at the institute and leading to the degree 
of Bachelor of Science. The requirements for admission to the 
course are the same as for the other professional courses, and 
its satisfactory completion stamps the man with a professional 
attainment of as high standard as the training in the older 
courses, such as civil or mechanical engineering, or chemistry 
or architecture. 

National Fish Day. 
March 9 was generally observed throughout the country as 
National Fish Day. This idea was conceived by the United 
States Fisheries Association, of which Gardner Poole of Boston 
is president. It had the earnest support and endorsement of 
the United States Bureau of Fisheries, and at the request of 
President Poole, the Division of Fisheries and Game gave all 
assistance possible in bringing it to the attention of the people 
of the Commonwealth. The purpose of the day was not to 
increase the sale of fish for one day, but to direct the attention 
of the public to the fisheries as an industrial resource that far 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 127 

too long has been neglected, and to raise the plane of the busi- 
ness to the level of other lines of food supply. 

Wide publicity was given through the press. Fisheries ar- 
ticles, slogans and poetry urging the eating of more fish were 
prepared by this Division and were used extensively by the 
fish dealers and the newspapers throughout the country in call- 
ing the attention of the public to the day. Representatives of 
the Governors of the various New England States were invited 
by the Division of Fisheries and Game to meet in Boston on 
that day and consider plans for increasing the consumption of 
salt-water fish. 

In Boston the day was made one of large concern by the 
fish dealers generally. A fish banquet at the City Club, under 
the auspices of the Rotary Club, was followed by a discussion 
of fisheries matters in general at a meeting at the Hotel Som- 
erset in the afternoon, and the day closed with a fisheries ban- 
quet at the same hotel in the evening. The Commissioner of 
Conservation and the Director of Fisheries and Game and in- 
spector of fish were in attendance and spoke at these meetings. 

Federal Control of Migratory Fish. 

The control of migratory fish has been discussed off and on 
over a period of years. The success attending the migratory 
bird treaty and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has renewed 
the interest of many people in the possibilities of a Federal law 
controlling migratory fish. It is a subject which appeals to the 
popular imagination, but it is fraught with many more problems 
than the control of migratory birds. The moving factors to-day 
in favor of such control are the Camp Fire Club of America 
and a committee appointed by the American Game Breeders' 
Association at its annual meeting in New York in January, 
1921. Their activities have been ably supported by newspapers 
scattered throughout the country, and many individuals and 
organizations. 

The plan of such control was discussed at a meeting held at 
the Department of Commerce in Washington, D. C, June 6, 
1921. This conference was presided over by Secretary Hoover. 
At the close of the deliberations the following resolution, among 
others, was passed : — 



128 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Be it further resolved, That on the question of general Federal control 
of the migratory fishes we make the following recommendation: — 

That the Department of Commerce call from time to time conferences 
with the Governors of various States in conjunction with the State fish 
commissions, with the view of suggesting uniform legislation by the various 
States for the protection of such varieties of migratory fish as may be 
threatened with extinction through pollution or any other causes. 



In the light of the foregoing action, and investigations carried 
on in various directions, the committee selected at the meeting 
of the American Game Breeders' Association (which committee 
is spokesman for the Camp Fire Club of America) has con- 
sidered it advisable to first direct its efforts toward reviving the 
treaty between the United States and Canada with reference to 
the fish of the Great Lakes, expecting, in the event of a suc- 
cessful conclusion of this matter, to take up next the question 
of the control of salt-water fishes. 

In the meantime it is planned to advocate certain remedial 
measures to be taken by the several coastal States, in con- 
junction and with the assistance of Federal agents, to see how 
far the States, by co-operative study and action upon the 
problems, can show there is no need for Federal control. The 
Commonwealth was represented at the conference of the De- 
partment of Commerce by Fish Inspector Millett, and at the 
deliberations of the committee above referred to, by Director 
Adams, who is a member. Director Adams also represented the 
Department at the conference of the United States Fisheries 
Association, held in Atlantic City in September, at which 
various phases of the discussion were covered. At that time 
our commercial fishermen volunteered to propose State legis- 
lation looking to the prohibition of the possession and sale of 
certain salt-water species under a given length, and in all 
probability spike mackerel and small bluefish and small butter- 
fish will be included in the list of protected species. 

The Fish Industry. 
In order to give a first-hand view of the fisheries of the State 
this Division has enlisted the aid of well-known leaders in the 
various branches of the fish business to give briefly their com- 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 129 

ment on the fish year just closing as seen through their busi- 
ness eyes. 

Thomas J. Carroll, general manager of the Gorton-Pew Fish- 
eries Company of Gloucester; Gardner Poole, President of the 
Commonwealth Ice and Cold Storage Company of Boston; 
John C. Wheeler of the Bay State Fishing Company of Boston 
Fish Pier; and Irving M. Atwood of the Freeman & Cobb Com- 
pany and Consolidated Weir Company of Boston Fish Pier, 
have contributed to this symposium. 

Believes Submarines affected Traps' Catch. 
Writing on traps, weirs and freezers, in which branches Cape 
Cod predominates, Mr. Irving M. Atwood states:- — 

It would seem at the time of writing this that the traps on Cape Cod 
would not fare any better this year than they did last, and the same is 
undoubtedly true of the freezers. This is indeed unfortunate as regards 
the traps, for apparently there was in our waters last year a large body 
of mackerel and other marketable fish which, if the traps had caught, 
undoubtedly would have brought large revenue and prosperity. This is 
evidenced by the fact that almost every day during the summer our traps 
in Provincetown and vicinity caught a few mackerel, maybe 50 pounds, 
maybe three or four barrels. We do not remember a year when we caught 
mackerel so steadily from day to da3 r as we did last year. 

Why we did not get larger quantities we can only conjecture, but we 
are of the strong and firm opinion that the reason is due to the activity in 
Provincetown Harbor and Cape Cod Bay of the submarines. Almost the 
entire summer there were many submarines at the Provincetown base 
constantly maneuvering in the harbor and bay. There were a few scat- 
tering days when they were not there, and on those days we caught large 
quantities of fish as compared with the catches on the other days. 

It seems to us too bad to have the largest industry and activity in 
Provincetown ruined by the maneuvering of the submarines. The con- 
dition that applies to mackerel applies also to all the fish that we catch, 
and in consequence we did not get, by a large percentage, as many fish 
to freeze this year as last, which in turn was a small year. It seems to us 
highly important that this question of the use of Provincetown for a large 
naval base, with the consequent activity of submarines and other vessels, 
should be thoroughh r investigated and the base changed elsewhere, as we 
feel that it is extremely detrimental to the fishing, — one of Massachu- 
setts great industries. 

Tins year we fished two more bowls or pounds than last year, and find 
that up to November 1 the comparative stocks are as follows: 1918, 
55,367; 1919,55,001; 1920,31,976; 1921,37,013. 



130 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

As regards the freezer we find that the amount of fish frozen this year 
is less than any of the amounts frozen the last four years, and is as follows: 
1918, 2,245,335; 1919, 1.757,636; 1920, 1,268,474; 1921, 750,620. 

We think that the condition in our traps and freezer is typical of the 
general conditions on the Cape. 

Refrigeration aids Dealer and Consumer. 
Mr. Poole contributes the following on refrigeration as ap- 
plied to the Massachusetts fisheries : ■ — 

To the modern fish man, be he producer, wholesaler or retailer, the 
subject of cold storage is important. 

Every producer, large or small, at certain times is either directly or 
indirectly affected by the functioning of cold storage or its lack. If it 
functions properly it helps to make a market during the inevitable glut 
for the surplus catch which could not be absorbed for immediate con- 
sumption in the fresh state. If it were not for modern cold storage there 
would unquestionably be times when the fisherman would feel that his 
efforts to earn a riving in the production of foodstuffs were futile. Each 
and ever}' producer may not realize this where his contact with freezing 
is indirect, but he would if he took the trouble to trace his catch through 
trade channels to the consumers' tables. 

As for the wholesaler, without exception he knows all of the above 
and the tremendous economic loss possible without efficient cold-storage 
service. 

And with Mr. Retailer, the boon of cold storage is being better realized 
every day. The progressive fish merchant with his cleanly white tile 
store, neat, white-aproned clerks, attractive displays, etc., knows and uses 
the advantages of direct contact with cold storage. In order to keep his 
customer supplied with all varieties of fish, both high and low priced 
varieties, throughout the year, he either arranges with his wholesaler 
or protects himself direct with the warehouseman, providing during the 
season of plenty for the season of scarcity. He also knows that without 
cold storage not only would the economic waste during periods of glutted 
markets be heavy, but that prices during off seasons would be prohibitive 
to trade. To-day, even the smallest retailer is beginning to appreciate 
the natural laws on which cold storage operates, and that without it he 
would be many times temporarily out of stock and out of business, which 
would result in increasing his annual overhead and necessitate adding a 
larger margin of profit on every sale during the season of fresh production. 

Outside of the trade, it is surprising to discover from what different 
viewpoints the subject of cold storage is considered, and those are found 
who would abolish the entire system, regarding it merely as an unneces- 
sary evil, whose existence works no good to any one except the man who 
would extort inordinate profit from the great consuming public. Those 
who hold such views and cannot see that cold storage has become a great 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 131 

public necessity must be put in the same group with those who could get 
along just as well in this world without applied electricity, the telegraph 
and telephone, steam and electric transportation, modern sewerage and 
dozens of other vital instrumentalities upon which civilization to-day 
depends and upon which our economic and social structure rests. 

Never, to the knowledge of any one, has anybody been injured by cold 
storage, but only by the lack of it. 

Regarding actual holdings of fish in cold storage, analyzing and com- 
paring the latest available reports it is found that the United States 
holdings as of Oct. 15, 1921, were about 58,000,000 pounds as compared 
with about 64,000,000 pounds a year ago. This shrinkage of 6,000,000 
pounds is comparatively small and does no more than represent the usual 
amount of annual fluctuation between normal years. It is largely ac- 
counted for in the whiting holdings, which are slightly more than 5,000,000 
pounds under last year. 

Massachusetts' share of the above totals was, on Oct. 15, 1921, about 
15,000,000 pounds, a shrinkage of approximately 3,000,000 pounds since 
the corresponding date of 1920, when the figures indicated about 
18,000,000 pounds. Likewise, this local decrease is not abnormal and is 
primarily due to a decrease of a like amount in whiting holdings. 

This year's subnormal whiting run, due to reasons beyond the control 
of man, such as weather, wind, tide, habits of the fish and the distribution 
of feed along our shores, accounts for a national decrease as compared 
with last year of about 5,000,000 pounds, and Massachusetts, as the 
leading whiting producer, accounted for 3,000,000 pounds of that decrease. 

With the exception of a light herring run, production and storage of 
other varieties during 1921 were practically normal. 

The cold-storage and fisheries industries of this State are in a healthy, 
gratifying condition. They both came through the war in unusually good 
shape and are in a position to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth to 
a steadily increasing degree. 

The fishing industry in particular has shown a highly commendable 
desire to help itself through inspection and co-operative effort. The 
United States Fisheries Association, the only national fish trade organi- 
zation, of which I happen to be president, has established executive 
offices in Boston, and is functioning well on the larger problems requiring 
co-operative effort. 

The future of Massachusetts fish and cold-storage interests is bright. 

Fresh Fish Dealers Hopeful. 
Mr. Wheeler writes : — 

As the year draws to a close, the fresh-fish industry reports progress in 
its various activities. 

The receipts of fresh fish landed at Boston will exceed 110,000,000 
pounds for the calendar year, a decrease of some 10,000,000 pounds against 



132 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

1920, and as this total represents 400 more trips than in 1920, it is evident 
that the vessels made shorter trips and landed smaller average stocks for 
the fresh-fish market, indicating better quality. 

The buying of fresh fish for salting at Gloucester was greatly diminished 
and this had a direct influence on the operations of both the sailing fleet 
and the trawlers, who were obliged to conduct their operations almost 
exclusively for the fresh market. 

Another reason for the decrease in tonnage was the absence from the 
market of the trawlers during March and April. 

Selling prices were low during the greater part of the j r ear, due to much 
reduced costs of all items of operating expense, including coal, ice, food, 
nets, oil, repairs, labor, etc. 

The readjustment of labor, in line with other industries of the country, 
has been accomplished during the year. On March 1, 1921, the wartime 
wage agreements of trawler workers expired. Great efforts were made by 
the trawler owners to bring about a reasonable decrease in wages without 
interruption of operation. After repeated meetings with the representa- 
tives of the various unions during the early part of the year, and the 
formation of a joint conference council to handle the situation, March 1 
arrived and all trawlers were tied up, due to the refusal of the fishermen 
to accept the new scale proposed by the owners. This situation con- 
tinued until May 1, when the largest trawler company, after due notice, 
started operating trawlers on an open-shop basis, and has continued on 
that basis throughout the year, followed later by other trawler companies. 

As the joint conference council was committed to principles of arbitra- 
tion, continuous operation and cordial relations, the stoppage of the 
trawlers rendered further meetings useless. 

No failures have occurred among the Boston wholesale fish dealers 
during the year, which further indicates the fundamental stability of New 
England's oldest industry. 

An event of great importance to the industry was the active support and 
co-operation during the year by the Secretary of Commerce, Hon. Herbert 
Hoover, who called several conferences of representative men of the fish 
industry and projected plans and named committees with a view to solving 
problems vital to the business. Prominent among these subjects were 
lower transportation rates and lessening of pollution of coastal streams 
and waters. 

The entire commercial industry is gratefully indebted to Mr. Hoover 
for his interest and support and his appreciation of the importance and 
magnitude of our fisheries. 

As the potential production of the New England fisheries is far greater 
than the present consumption, much attention is being given at the present 
time to new methods of preparation and distribution of fresh fish. The 
most popular method is that of cleaning and boning fish, wrapping in 
parchment, ready for the pan. Several companies have made marked 
progress in this direction, each differing in detail in some slight degree, 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 133 

but all striving for a fresh, clean product, wrapped and ready for the 
housewife, and attractive to retail grocers, through whom it is intended 
to effect distribution in a large way. We stand at the threshold of a new 
era in the preparation and distribution of fresh fish, and Massachusetts, 
as the greatest fishing State of the United States, will lead the way. 

Fleets generally operated at a Loss. 
In a general review of the catching and distributing ends of 
the industry, Mr. Carroll writes : — 

Looking back over the past year in the fishing industry one must admit 
that the results have been very unsatisfactory. From the production 
standpoint the only profitable part of the industry was the fresh halibut 
fishery. 

The vessels engaged in the halibut fishery had a very successful season 
due to good catches and good prices. The price of fresh halibut during 
the season was very satisfactory to the men on the vessels and also to the 
owners. 

The mackerel fisheries started out well and the fishermen were looking 
for a good season, but after the middle of June, the time the fleet arrived 
from the Cape shore, the fishery was a complete failure, the worst in the 
history of the business. The mackerel seemed to have disappeared com- 
pletely from our shores, so that after an unsuccessful operation of several 
weeks it was practically abandoned for the season. This was indeed a 
great blow to the vessel owners and to the men, inasmuch as the mackerel 
fishery is generally a very profitable one for all concerned. 

The haddock and the so-called "shack" fisheries were very unprofit- 
able, this being due to the extremely low prices paid for fresh fish during 
the greater part of the year. It is safe to say that the vessels operated 
at a great loss, and the men engaged in the fisheries did not make living 
wages. 

Fundamentally the trouble with the industry is that it has been operated 
to a great extent on post-war costs and selling its product on a pre-war 
basis. 

I am pleased to state that great progress was made in the past season 
in improving the quality of fish landed from the vessels. In this connec- 
tion we have had the hearty co-operation of the fishermen in our efforts 
to produce high-quality products, which, together with the valuable 
assistance we received from your inspector of fish, Mr. Millett, has 
resulted in a wonderful improvement all along the line. In this co- 
operation and desire of all connected with the industry to produce nothing 
but the very best fish, we see one of the most hopeful signs for the future 
of the industry. 

Several of the captains of our mackerel fishing crafts have stated that 
having seen such large bodies of very small mackerel this past year they 



134 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

are very hopeful that the coming season will be a good one in that in- 
dustry. I feel that with the return of better conditions in other lines of 
industry there will be a better demand for fish the coming year, with the 
result that the vessels and the fishermen will receive better prices, and 
thereby be in position to get fair returns on money invested on the part 
of the owners, and reasonable compensation for the men who risk their 
lives every day that they are on the fishing banks. 

The Deep Sea Fisheries. 

The fish landings by the fleets of Massachusetts crafts en- 
gaged in various fisheries conducted all the way from Cape 
Hatteras to the Grand Bank of Newfoundland are less in 
volume than for the previous year. Prices generally of fares 
from the vessels ruled much lower than in 1920. These two 
factors, taken in connection with the fact that the cost of pro- 
duction was not reduced in proportion to the fall in prices, 
and that gluts of fresh fish were frequent at the Boston Fish 
Pier by reason of under-consumption caused by post-war con- 
ditions, made the fishing year one not pleasant to look upon, 
either from a financial or large catch standpoint. In some 
respects the year, viewed from either the standpoint of the 
dealer or the fisherman, has been one of the poorest in a long 
time. Adverse trade conditions, the rate of foreign exchange 
and the ratio of the cost of production to the prices received all 
combined to make the year one that, generally speaking, fish 
dealers and fishermen alike would be pleased to forget as soon 
as possible. 

True, there were some bright spots. Without question there 
was a marked improvement in quality of fresh fish landed dur- 
ing the warm weather months; a few of the fleets fared extra 
well; during the fall a gratifying increase in trade in salted fish 
is noted. Stocks on hand are light as compared with the pre- 
ceding five years, and this augurs well for a clean-up of goods 
on hand during the winter and spring, leaving a bare and active 
market to receive the spring trips, with the possibility, through 
livelier demand/ of better prices. The fresh-fish market has not 
responded to any very noticeable increased demand up to date, 
but the dealers are confident that with the advent of real win- 
ter weather their product will be in less receipt and greater 
demand, with correspondingly better prices. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 135 

Fresh Fishing or Haddock Fleet. 

The fresh fishing or haddock fleet had a very open winter on 
the fishing grounds which made for large catches. The prices 
generally were lower than the previous year, and at times fresh 
fish were positively a drug on the market. Several Nova Scotia 
sailing crafts and steam trawlers landed their catches at the 
Boston Fish Pier during the winter and helped to swell the total 
figures. The volume of trade was too small to absorb all the 
fish brought to the pier, and many fares went to the splitters, 
thus showing the general poor condition of the market even 
during the winter. 

It should be noticed that on January 27, with 16 crafts ar- 
riving with less than 1,000,000 pounds of fish, haddock sold at 
$1.50 per hundredweight. On February 2, with but 378,000 
pounds in receipt, haddock sold for $1.25 and codfish at $3 per 
hundredweight, and on that day one of the crafts of the steam 
trawling fleet was obliged to bring her fare of 110,000 pounds 
to Gloucester to the splitters, there being no demand for the fare 
for fresh consumption. Again, on February 8, with landings of 
but 465,000 pounds, and this only one day before the opening 
of Lent, fresh fish reached the lowest price of the winter at the 
Boston Fish Pier, haddock selling at 75 cents per hundred- 
weight, and codfish at $2 per hundredweight. On March 1 
the wage plan under which the steam trawler fishermen had 
been working by award of a special arbitration board expired, 
and as fast as the steam trawlers arrived they were hauled out 
of fishing, the owners claiming it was not profitable to run 
them longer under the wage award. There were no ultimatums 
issued either by the trawler owners or the Fishermen's Union, 
so it was not a question of a strike or lockout by either party, 
but simply a matter of business necessity, as neither capital 
nor labor under the conditions at that time had a market for 
the goods that the other offered. In bringing about this situa- 
tion, poor prices of fish to the producer and high cost of opera- 
tion, aside from the matter of wages, played their part. 

Even at present, only a part of the steam trawler fleet of 
Boston and Gloucester are operating, and this in spite of the 
fact that the wage schedule is much lower than that which 



136 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

expired on March 1. The disproportionate ratio of cost of 
production and low prices for the catches still obtain. During 
the summer the fresh fishing fleet as a whole was larger than 
usual, caused by the fact that few, if any, vessels engaged in 
"shacking," that is, catching capacity trips, poorly iced, ex- 
clusively for the splitting market, on the Banks to the east- 
ward of Cape Sable. The majority of vessels fished on the 
Banks to the westward of Cape Sable, and the summer season 
was marked by a continual stream of fares of market size, in 
prime condition. This the limited demand of the summer 
market for fresh ground fish was not able to in any way ab- 
sorb, and in consequence the bulk of the catches went to the 
splitters. This fall the season shows little change for the bet- 
ter. Prices are ruling low, catches are good and the trade is 
light, although at this date, November 30, there are signs of 
increased demand and stiffer prices. 

An interesting picture of the part which the rate of exchange 
plays in the fish business is illustrated by the landing, during 
the winter at the Boston Fish Pier, of a goodly number of 
fares by Nova Scotia vessels and steam trawlers. These crafts 
with fewer men in their crews, with cost of operation much 
less, and with the added advantage of the rate of money ex- 
change in their favor were able to make profitable trips, while 
American vessels of the same size were actually out of luck 
and pocket on fares of the same size and sold on the same 
market. 

The hauling out of the steam trawler fleet around March 1 
caused a gradual decline to manifest itself in the figures of the 
fish landings in the weeks following. 

Up to March 4 the Boston Fish Pier record shows there had 
been 494 arrivals since January 1, with 24,289,250 pounds of 
fish as against 385 arrivals with 20,740,595 pounds in the year 
1920. By March 26, less than a month after the steam trawlers 
hauled out, this 3,500,000 pounds' advantage over last year 
had been lost, and the total receipts were on even terms with 
those of the year previous at that date. On October 7 receipts 
of the year from January 1 at the Fish Pier were 10,000,000 
pounds behind those of last year for the same period, and on 
November 30 the fish landing deficit there for the year as com- 
pared with the year previous was 12,000,000 pounds. 



1921.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 137 



Swordfishing Fleet. 

The swordfishing season of 1921 opened with the taking of 
three fish by a Block Island fishing craft 30 miles south of 
Montauk Point, Long Island, on June 10. On June 16, the 
schooner " Ralph Brown," which had been on a fishing trip to 
grounds about 100 miles from New York, and near the edge 
of the Gulf Stream, landed at Fulton Fish Market Pier, New 
York City, 5 fish which sold at the unprecedented price of 
60 cents per pound. About June 20 small numbers of sword- 
fish appeared on the southern part of Georges Banks, and 
gradually extended eastward to the southeast part of Georges 
in latitude 40° 40' north. At this time no less than 60 sail of 
boats, all of auxiliary motor power, were engaged in this branch 
of the fishery operating over an area extending from Block 
Island eastward to the eastern edge of Georges Banks. 

The first fare of swordfish, 37 fish in number, to arrive at 
Boston this year was brought in by schooner "Actor" on June 
30, and sold at 36 cents per pound. 

During the months of June and July weather conditions were 
extremely unfavorable by reason of fog and rough weather, this 
resulting generally in long trips but small catches. It is esti- 
mated that in July the fleet engaged in swordfishing, both 
shore and off shore, numbered fully 100 sail. From August 1 
to September 20 the fleet was widely scattered all the way from 
Block Island to Scatteri on the east coast of Nova Scotia, off 
which fish appeared in varying quantities as early as July 6. 

From July 15 to September 20 fish were quite plentiful on 
that part of the Nova Scotia coast extending from Halifax to 
Scatteri, a distance of 190 miles. As this fishery was practi- 
cally all within the 3-mile limit, American crafts were unable 
by reason of treaty restrictions to engage in it there. During 
the summer months large schools of herring and other bait 
fishes strike in from the off-shore banks all along this Nova 
Scotia coast. They are followed by the swordfish, the latter 
in many cases chasing the schools in the bays and harbors, so 
the Nova Scotia fishermen each year reap the rich harvest, 
shipping their entire catch to the American market. Their 
catch this year is believed to be the largest they ever made. 



138 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The Nova Scotia swordfishery is conducted chiefly in small 
boats, and landings are made daily, doing away with the ex- 
pense of icing, and this reduces the cost of operation to a mini- 
mum. Their fishing is conducted almost wholly in territorial 
waters, and any infringement by the American fishermen is 
carefully guarded against; hence the need of protective tariff 
legislation. 

Reverting to the swordfishing by Massachusetts crafts, the 
season as a whole fell far below that of 1920, which was the 
best on record. Not only was the catch smaller, but prices 
averaged lower. The swordfishery, taken as a whole, is fast 
becoming one of the most important summer branches of the 
fishing industry, swordfish being one of the few species of fish 
for which there seems an increasing demand. Twenty years 
ago the number of boats engaged was negligible as compared 
with the present large fleet of modern auxiliary powered crafts, 
. and at that time 4 to 6 cents per pound was considered a fair 
price. To-day the market rarely goes below 12 to 18 cents a 
pound, and more frequently reaches from 20 to 22 cents. 

There is no evidence that the number of swordfish is in any 
way decreasing upon our fishing grounds. In fact, it is notice- 
able, and in a way remarkable to find, that on the Grand Bank 
of Newfoundland, where only a few years ago the swordfish 
would have been regarded as a curiosity, they were commonly 
reported in abundance during the past summer, and the run 
was of extra large size. The catch of the 1921 season will not 
exceed 70 per cent of last year, and the average market price, 
ex- vessel, was from 18 to 20 cents a pound. The shortage of 
catch is due entirely to dense fogs and generally unfavorable 
weather conditions. 

The Mackerel Fishery. 
The mackerel fishery of 1921 will go down on record as the 
poorest for many years. Indeed, not in fifty years has the 
landing of salted mackerel been smaller. In 1910, 3,395 barrels 
were landed, as against 3,242 barrels this year. The catch of 
fresh mackerel, about 40,000 barrels, is a bit better than half 
the fresh landings of 1920. But few times since the seining 
landings of fresh mackerel began has the catch been less than 
this year. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 139 

Notwithstanding the fact that mackerel schools were sighted 
much earlier this spring than usual, and that the fleet got away 
at an unusually early date, the southern mackerel season will 
rank among the poorest in recent years. Following this un- 
auspicious opening of the season, the mackerel seiners repaired 
to the Nova Scotia Cape Shore in search of the migratory 
schools which annually frequent these famous fishing grounds, 
leaving the large fleet of small netting craft to pursue opera- 
tions to the southward. The netters had several big fishing 
days, one of them probably the largest in the history of the 
mackerel netting fishery, but even this did not serve to make 
up the early deficit in the catch. The netters, while having 
what might be called a good season as a whole, did not ap- 
proach their catch figures or financial returns of the previous 
spring, and the Cape Shore season opened with the total catch 
out south, on May 26, of 13,912 barrels fresh, as compared 
with 27,940 barrels at the same date, 1920. 

Following this poor showing the seiners on the Cape Shore 
struck schools large and plenty, with the result that the Cape 
Shore season was, as far as fresh mackerel was concerned, the 
best since 1917, and almost equal to that year. The fresh 
Cape Shore catch totaled 2,176,000 pounds as against 1,290,000 
pounds the year previous. The Cape Shore catch of salted 
mackerel was practically the same as last year, • — 3,200 bar- 
rels as against 3,217 barrels in 1920. Following the Cape 
Shore trip the fleet repaired to the southern grounds and 
found but very few fish. Later the vessels scattered to all 
spots where mackerel had been found in the past, only to draw 
practically a blank. With the exception of a few small schools 
taken during the summer, the season after the Cape Shore was 
nothing more or less than a total failure and bitter disappoint- 
ment to all engaged in this fishery. 

A few interesting facts regarding the season will not be out 
of place here. As late in 1920 as December 13, when the mack- 
erel season was believed to have been long over, the observer 
on the Nantucket Shoals Lightship wirelessed that mackerel 
were schooling off there and the weather was mild. On March 1 
the steam trawler "Petrel," Capt. John Shea, arrived at the 
Boston Fish Pier from the South Channel fishing grounds, hav- 



140 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

ing, along with his catch of cod and haddock, five small and 
one medium-sized mackerel, the latter weighing lj pounds. In 
addition to this Captain Shea reported that in dressing the 
codfish, tinker mackerel were found in the stomachs of some 
of the fish. 

The first vessels to sail south were schooners "Mary E. 
Harty" and "Catherine Burke " which got away from Glouces- 
ter on March 30. These were followed quickly by the remain- 
der of the fleet, until the total of about 25 crafts had sailed. 
The first of the mackerel netting fleet sailed on April 4. The 
first of the seiners to get away in 1920 was schooner "Squanto," 
Capt. Almon D. Malloch, on April 7. The first mackerel 
caught this year was taken at Chincoteague, one lone fish being 
caught on April 3, the first last year on March 31, at the same 
place. The first mackerel fare landed this year was brought in 
at the Fulton Market Fish Pier at New York by the fishing 
steamer "Helena", Capt. John J. Matheson, on April 7. Cap- 
tain Matheson's haul was 6,000 pounds of fresh mackerel weigh- 
ing from 2 to 3 pounds each, which sold at 65 cents per pound. 
The fare was taken in latitude 37° 52' north in 32 fathoms of 
water. The first mackerel fare landed last year was caught in 
about the same locality and brought in at Cape May on April 
14, schooner "Stiletto," Capt. Ralph Webber, having 2,000 
pounds which sold at about 50 to 60 cents per pound. The 
first of the netting fleet to land a fare was schooner "Anna," 
which arrived at Cape May on April 15 with 15 barrels of fresh 
mackerel. 

The earliest of the seining fleet had no difficulty in locating 
the mackerel. Almost as soon as the vessels arrived on the far 
southern grounds they had four days and nights of fine weather, 
and it is the statement of the captains and those who were in 
the fishing vessels that never before had they seen such a large 
body of mackerel out south. Notwithstanding this, they were 
able to catch very few, the fish being extremely wild and diving 
almost as soon as the crew started to get the rings of the seine 
on the seine boat side. After this spell of fine weather came 
many days of bad weather. Several storms set in and very 
few fish were seen. What few schools were sighted were small 
and scattered, and nothing like the large body of fish first met 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 141 

were again seen throughout the season. It is the opinion of 
many of the skippers that the spell of bad weather retarded 
the northern progress of the schools, which were not seen again 
this side of Chincoteague, and that instead of coming along 
up the usual course, the main body of the fish was diverted 
and went far off shore. The vessels cruised the grounds 
thoroughly up to May 15, and then came up as far as New- 
port. The first sign of mackerel in the vicinity of Newport 
was when the steamer "Nirvana" arrived there with 15,000 
pounds of mackerel seined in that vicinity. 

The netting fleet, which started earlier than usual, did not 
experience the success of last season. The fishing was very 
" spotty" and came in spurts, and good fares at the start were 
the exception and not the rule. This state of affairs continued 
up to the 10th of May. After this the netting fleet made some 
extra fine landings. On May 11 and 12, 27 netters arrived at 
New York and 40 at Atlantic City, with fares from 500 to 
5,000 pounds each. Good landings were made at New York 
on May 17 and May 20, and on May 26, which was probably 
the biggest mackerel day in the history of the netting fleet, 
266,000 pounds were landed by 45 boats at New York, the fares 
running from 1,000 to 15,000 pounds to a boat. On this day 
these fine fish sold as low as 8 cents per pound. 

The first fares from the Cape Shore arrived at Boston 
on May 31, steamers "Nirvana," Capt. Lee Murray, and 
"Thelma," Capt. Martin L. Welch, making the Boston Fish 
Pier, the former with 75,000 pounds, and the latter with 
51,000 pounds of fresh mackerel which sold at 10 cents per 
pound. The "Nirvana," in addition to her fresh fare, had 15 
barrels of salted mackerel which sold at $12 per barrel. Fol- 
lowing this, the crafts of the Cape Shore fleet arrived in quick 
succession, and so good was the outlook that four returned in 
the hope of securing second fares, three out of the four being 
successful in their quest. 

With the landings of the Cape Shore fleet all accounted for, 
the total fresh mackerel receipts for the season were increased 
to 33,000 barrels, this up to June 24. From this on to the 
close of the season, about December 1, when most of the late 
netting fleet hauled out, the catch was increased but 7,000 



142 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



barrels. This gives a very clear idea of the extreme scarcity 
of mackerel for the five months of the summer and fall. 

About the middle of the summer schooner "Squanto" sailed 
for the North Bay in hopes of securing a fare there. In Octo- 
ber she succeeded in securing two good-sized hauls of fresh 
mackerel off Cheticamp, Cape Breton, which were landed at 
Port Hawksbury and shipped to Boston, bringing high prices. 
On receipt of these good returns five others of the seining fleet 
repaired to Cape Breton waters, but only two of these were 
successful in taking any fish, one of these crafts running into 
mackerel while bound home, securing a good fare. The other 
craft brought 80 barrels of salted mackerel which sold at $37 
per barrel. 

A large fleet of mackerel netters operated during the fall, 
making their headquarters at Boston, Gloucester and Rock- 
port. It is estimated that this fleet numbered 115 sail, mostly 
small craft. They fished all the way from 10 miles off Cape 
Ann down to the favorite fishing spots of the Isle of Shoals 
and Boon Island. Some fairly good hauls were made, but in 
general the prospects of a successful season were killed by 
several spells of bad weather and two heavy easterly storms. 
Thus closed another disappointing season in the history of the 
mackerel fishery. 

The Massachusetts catches of fresh and salted mackerel from 
Dec. 1, 1920, to Nov. 30, 1921, inclusive, and for the corre- 
sponding period of the two previous years were as follows: — 





Dec. 1, 1920, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1921. 


Dec. 1, 1919, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1920. 


Dec. 1, 1918, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 


Salt mackerel (barrels) 

Fresh mackerel (barrels) .... 


3,242 
40,323 


4,897 
79,799 


7,007 
55,375 


Totals 


43,565 


84,696 


62,382 



1921.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



143 





Cape Shore 


Catches of Mackerel for 


Six Years. 




Year. 


Arrivals. 


Fresh Mackerel 
(Pounds). 


Salt Mackerel 
(Barrels). 


1921 . 


29 
30 


2,160,000 
1,290,000 


3,003 


1920 . 






3,217 


1919 . 






32 


2,119,000 


6,275 


1918 . 






38 


1,689,000 


7,558 


1917 . 






32 


2,229,000 


7,131 


1916 . 






24 


1,161,000 


3,718 



Salt Bank Cod fishery. 
The salt bank codfishing fleet was small, as has been the 
case for the past few years. Three vessels engaged in trawling 
and three in dory hand-lining. In addition to these, a few 
vessels, one of them from Boston, engaged in the same fishery 
without taking out their ballast. One of the dory hand-line 
crafts, the schooner "Esperanto," famed as the winner of the 
international fisherman's trophy, was lost off Sable island by 
striking a sunken wreck when almost ready to come home with 
a catch of nearly 300,000 pounds. Efforts to float the craft 
failed and the fare was lost to the market. The three-masted 
schooner "Aviator" was then fitted out by the owners of the 
"Esperanto" and sailed under the command of the same cap- 
tain with a crew of 34 men. She was very fortunate, securing 
a fare of over 425,000 pounds of salted codfish. The "Aviator" 
is probably the first three-masted craft to engage in the banks 
fisheries from a Massachusetts port, and her crew is probably 
the largest also that ever engaged in any fishery from a Massa- 
chusetts port. The remaining dory hand-line craft and the 
trawl bankers did well on their first trips, and good average 
fares were secured on the second voyage. The market, ex- 
vessel, was lower than the previous year. 



The Shacking Fleet. 
Because of the restrictions placed upon the receipt of fresh 
fish from the eastern banks during the summer months by the 
Gloucester curers, as is fully explained in the report of the 



144 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

inspector of fish in this volume, practically no vessels engaged 
in shacking. What crafts did come from the eastward with 
fresh fish were gone but a short time, and their fares were 
heavily iced, making them almost in market condition. A 
few vessels went to the eastward carrying some salt with which 
they preserved their early catches, and then came home with 
the late-caught part of their trips fresh. 

Fresh Halibut Fleet. 

Following its success of 1919 and 1920, the fresh halibut 
fleet, enlarged in number to 26 sail, was rewarded with another 
most prosperous season; indeed, many skippers accounted it 
the best season for many, many years, both as regards size of 
catch and value. Besides the fleet operating from Massachu- 
setts ports, some 16 sail of Nova Scotia vessels made Yarmouth, 
Shelburne and Digby their headquarters, and the great bulk 
of their catches came to the Boston market. In spite of this 
largely increased production, prices, while not averaging as 
high as a year before, were generally very good, sometimes 
reaching the high points of the previous season. 

One of the noticeable features of the year was the increased 
use by the vessels of Gloucester and Portland as markets for 
their fares. The captains seemed to think it more advisable 
to divide their landings than to bring them all to one place. 
Boston, of course, retained the predominant part of landings 
for this fleet. 

It is noteworthy that the fleet this year did not confine its 
operations so closely to Georges and Brown's Banks as has 
been the case in recent years, but many and large fares were 
brought during all parts of the season from the banks to the 
eastward, the old favorite fishing grounds on St. Pierre and 
Grand Bank being frequented with much success. One fare 
from Green Bank brought in by schooner "Catherine," Capt. 
Archie McLeod, totaled 114,140 pounds, the largest for a num- 
ber of years. The stock on this fare was $9,024. For the pur- 
pose of record, the fare was caught in Lat. 45° 1' north, and 
Long. 54° 33' west. 

Several fares during the summer were sold and put into the 
freezer, and also during the season, when the prices admitted 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 145 

of doing so, quite a quantity of halibut was sold to be flitched 
and salted. 

The success of the fleet this year confirms the judgment ex- 
pressed by many of the captains at the close of their season 
last fall, that halibut were increasing in number, and that with 
the larger fleet to thus keep better run of movements of the 
fish schools this profitable fishery would show better returns 
from year to year. In recent years it has been the custom for 
practically all of the fleet to haul out in late October and early 
November, starting again in February of the next year, but 
this season some of the captains, encouraged by the success of 
the summer and fall, will continue operations all winter. 

The Gill Netting Fleet 
The gill netting fleet, which only a few years ago numbered 
from 35 to 40 sail, and now reduced, by the excessive expense 
of operations and other reasons to some 15 or 20 boats, had a 
poor year, the winter catch of pollock and haddock from Sep- 
tember to March 1 being less than 7,000,000 pounds. Those 
crafts of this fleet which did not then haul up, but engaged in 
shore fishing during the summer, did very little on account of 
scarcity of mackerel schools along the shore and lack of demand 
for herring, which is one of the standby fish of this fleet in the 
summer months. Gill netting was resumed in October, and up 
to the time of writing the fleet had found pollock in goodly 
quantity, but were obliged to sell them at 75 cents per hun- 
dredweight, which, with the extremely high cost of operation 
and nets, made their daily trips unprofitable. 

Small Craft. 
In common with the majority of fishing crafts for the year 
the small boat fleet of Boston, Gloucester, Cape Cod, also 
Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket, had a hard year, finding 
fish scarce and prices generally low when compared with the 
quality and quantity of fish brought in. As the crafts of this 
fleet are almost exclusively equipped with gasoline power the 
upkeep and operating expenses are heavy, and this, combined 
with the small catches and low prices, made the year a dis- 
couraging one to the hardy shore fishermen, who at times took 



146 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

desperate chances in these small boats to earn their livelihood. 
The large fleet of flounder draggers is not included in this 
resume of shore boat operations. 

The Flounder Fishery. 

The flounder fishery of 1921, pursued from various ports in 
season by fully, if not over, 125 craft, was one of the best in 
the history of the taking of these fish by otter trawling. The 
catch was large and prices at times very high. On the whole, 
returns were satisfactory, although at some periods the fish 
were almost given away. While quite a number of the fleet 
operating in Massachusetts and Barnstable bays and vicinity 
landed their fares at Gloucester and Boston, the centers of the 
flounder industry are Nantucket and Hyannisport, from which 
ports a large fleet extensively engages in operations, many of 
these craft running their fares direct to the New York market, 
while others ship their catches to New York, Boston and other 
places. 

Cape Cod Activities. 

Reports from Cape Cod fishing centers show that the fishing 
season just concluded was one of the poorest for a long term of 
years, not more than 50 per cent of normal, and even below 
the discouraging total of 1920. The traps did nothing com- 
pared with other years; no squid struck in; the catch of whit- 
ing was greatly reduced; herring came along slowly and were 
in light receipt; there were several small spurts of mackerel, 
but no catch of any encouraging amount was made. The shore 
boats, as a whole, did not pay expenses, and the situation of 
the trap fishermen was the hardest for a long time. 

Buzzards Bay Fisheries. 
The fishing season in the waters around Buzzards Bay and 
vicinity was a failure, as indeed it was all along the coast, only 
a few alewives and tautog being taken, while the spring catch 
of squid in the traps amounted to only about 300 barrels. 
Mackerel and swordfish were scarce, there being but 800 bar- 
rels of the former landed at New Bedford as against about 
7,000 barrels in 1920. At New Bedford 650 swordfish were 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 147 

landed as against 1,050 in 1920. These mackerel and sword- 
fish figures d'o not apply alone to Buzzards Bay, but are 
the total of all boats landing at New Bedford. The result 
of the trap fishing on the north shore of Buzzards Bay may 
be summed up by the words of one trap owner, that he did 
not make enough this year to pay for a new down-haul for 
his trap. The fall catch, up to November 30, compares favor- 
ably with that of 1919, against practically none in 1920. 

Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket Fisheries. 

The catch of fish by Marthas Vineyard crafts, or marketed 
by outside vessels at Vineyard Haven and Edgartown, was 
about on a par with the previous year, with some exceptions. 
Most of the fleet landed at Edgartown. Quite a fleet of the 
larger boats fished for flounders by the otter-trawling method 
on the grounds near South Shoal Lightship and Georges Bank. 
They found fish plenty, and most of the fleet went through to 
New York to land their fares direct. Some good money was 
made in this branch of the fishery. The mackerel season was 
a complete failure, the netters hardly paying expenses, as after 
June no fish were taken. 

The usual small amount of haddock was landed at Edgar- 
town and shipped to the New York market. But few of the 
shore boats fished for codfish. The larger crafts fished on 
Nantucket Shoals. This fleet found fish plenty, but prices 
were poor. Most of these fares were landed at New York. 
Swordfish were fairly plenty inshore, more so than for a num- 
ber of years, but the unfavorable weather prevented a good 
catch. The fish were landed at Edgartown. The price aver- 
aged lower than last year. Flukes were scarce most of the 
season. Scup and sea bass were also scarce early in the season, 
but fairly plenty during the latter part. No bluefish were re- 
ported to speak of, probably not more than 50 being taken 
around the island during the latter part of the season. 

The run of ale wives began very early (about March 1) and 
stopped a little earlier than usual. The catch was normal — 
about 6,000 barrels. The early market price was about the 
same as last year, but some lower for the later fish. The last 
run of the fish all sold for their scales. 



148 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

About 50 boats fished out of Nantucket this year, doing well 
in the flounder fishery; but mackerel fishing was a failure. 
Very few went swordfishing, and they did very little. Had- 
docking and codfishing has been fair, but only about a dozen 
of the boats from this port were engaged. Scup fishing was 
poor and there was no bluefishing at all. 

There were plenty of pollock in the spring, but only four or 
five boats were in this fishery for about two weeks. One boat 
went sturgeon fishing in June, July and August, doing well, 
realizing very high prices for both fish and roe. 

The principal fishery here is for flounders, at which most of 
the boats at this time are doing well and making their catches 
inshore. There was no sea bass fishing from here this year. 



Boston Fishery Activities. 

Despite the fact that the Boston fresh-fish market was minus 
the services of the major portion of the steam trawler fleet for 
fully half of the year, there was an average year's landings. 
As against the good catch, however, it must be recorded that 
prices, ex-vessel, generally speaking, showed a marked decline 
from 1920, and on many occasions the market faced periods of 
underconsumption, which meant lessening of business, shortage 
of orders and consequent low quotations to the trade. 

A critical review of a tabulation of the receipts, however, 
shows some gratifying features. While the total catch was 
nearly 12,000,000 pounds less than in 1920, codfish were in 
better receipt by almost 2,000,000 pounds. Hake and cusk 
also showed slight gains, indicating, perhaps, that these splendid 
eating fish are gradually finding their proper place in the fish 
scheme of things. The brightest spot is found in the halibut 
returns, receipts showing a gain over 1920 of nearly 1,200,000 
pounds. As halibut averages as the highest priced fish the 
year round brought in in quantity by vessels of the fishing 
fleet, the gain is doubly pleasant to record. 

Because of the utter slump of the mackerel fishery after 
June, the landings were but one-third of the 1920 total, but 
the mackerel fishery is always regarded as the great marine 
lottery of the fisheries, and a poor season is no indication that 



1921.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



149 



the fishery is depleted or that the next season may not bring 
a banner catch to record. 

The catch of haddock was below the figures of 1920 by 
nearly 10,000,000 pounds, but this is easily accounted for by 
the laying up of the bulk of the steam trawler fleet for at 
least half of the season, — at a time when the largest catches 
are made, ■ — because low prices and business conditions did 
not warrant their operation. 



Dec. 1, 1920, to Dec. 1, 1919, to 
Nov. 30, 1921. Nov. 30, 1920. 



Large codfish (10 pounds and over) 


20,652,883 


19,394,030 


Market cod (those under 10 and over 2\i pounds) 


12,583,990 


11,987,845 


Cod scrod (those weighing 1 to 2} o pounds) .... 


497,510 


160,363 


Haddock 


55,038,213 


64,861,174 


Large hake (6 pounds and over) 


450,125 


694,176 


Small hake (under 6 pounds) 


2,661,488 


1,647,788 


Pollock 


3,129,260 


2,973,941 


Cusk 


930,637 


617,198 


Halibut 


3,667,997 


2,482,266 


Fresh mackerel 


2,041,631 


6,157,600 


Miscellaneous (butterfish, catfish, flounders, redfish, shad, 
smelt, herring, sturgeon, sharks, bonitas, swordfish, etc.). 


4,389,172 


6,912,413 


Totals 


106,042,906 


117,888,794 



For reference and comparison of detailed catch of the several 
species landed, the table of the receipts for 1918 and 1919 will 
be of value : — 



Ifcc.I.1.18. | toVoV'T' 
Nov .11 1910. : "J-je- 



Codfish 


32,265,992 


36,457,622 


Haddock 


61,504,416 


47,752,660 


Hake 


2,860,160 


2,330,643 


Pollock ' 


3,846,345 


4,130,341 


Cusk 


795,646 


981,665 


Halibut 


1,353,704 


734,992 


Mackerel 


4,000,513 


6,412,715 


Miscellaneous 


4,559,830 


4,840,002 


Totals 

t — 


111,186,606 


103,640,640 

i 



150 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The figures for the preceding tables are furnished, as in pre- 
vious years, by Mr. F. F. Dimick, secretary of the Boston Fish 
Bureau. Mr. Dimick, who is so thoroughly posted on Boston 
fisheries matters as to make his comment authoritative, has the 
following to say on the Boston fish year: — 

The year 1921 has been a very unsatisfactory one for the fisherman and 
producer. The catch of mackerel and swordfish was very light com- 
pared with past years. The vessels engaged in the market fishery for 
groundfish have had a poor season, and as prices have ruled low, stocks 
have also ruled low. For a large part of the year the stream trawlers 
were hauled up, as it was unprofitable to operate them, and only 60 per 
cent as many have operated this year as last. 

The dealers have suffered with the fishermen owing to the light supply 
of fish, and have felt the effect of the general trade readjustment from 
a war to a peace basis. But the situation is improving and the year 1922 
is expected to show considerable improvement. 

The fleet that engaged in the halibut fishery in the Atlantic was prob- 
ably the largest on record, and this fishery was quite successful. Quite 
a number of good trips were landed from the Grand Bank. 

The catch of the traps on Cape Cod has been the poorest on record. 

A new vessel has been constructed and has just begun operations in 
which there is much interest. She will use a small beam otter trawl, the 
same as used by the steamers. Her name is "Blanche Ring," and she 
is 67 feet long, 20 feet wide, 8 feet deep. She has a 100-horsepower oil 
burning Bolinger engine. The ground line of her otter trawl is 90 feet in 
length. She carries a crew of 10 men and all are part owners of the vessel. 

The Gloucester Fisheries. 
Presenting a total of fish receipts from all sources of but 
55,114,662 pounds, the Gloucester fisheries show the small- 
est catch return for over thirty years, and possibly the smallest 
in the last half century. Marked decreases in the landings of 
fresh codfish from the vessels, a decline of almost 50 per cent 
in the receipts of fish not the product of the American fisheries, 
and a marked loss in the total of fish received by rail, explains 
why the 1921 figures are some 10,000,000 pounds beneath the 
low total returns of 1920, which were accounted the smallest in 
total amount for a long period of years. Outside of the falling 
off in the landings of fresh codfish, the vessel catch as a whole 
is about on a par with last year, which gives little chance for 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 151 

very encouraging words on the situation, with the exception of 
noting a large and gratifying increase in the landings of salt 
cod, caused mainly by the fact that the halibut fleet frequently 
brought from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of salt cod along with 
their halibut fares. 

The receipts of fish at Gloucester from all sources show a 
total of 55,114,662 pounds as against 77,977,515 pounds in 
1920, and 133,638,765 pounds in 1919. 

The great decline in the landings of fresh cod can be ac- 
counted for by the fact that there was practically no shacking 
fleet during the warm weather months, that is, vessels did not 
frequent the banks to the eastward for capacity fares of fish 
to be split for salting. As 90 per cent of these trips from these 
eastern grounds have in the past been codfish, the limitation 
on these fares explains the shortage which the table shows. 

Collapse of the export trade, caused in major part by the 
prevailing rate of exchange, answers in full for the decline in 
the receipts of fish by rail, and also, in a great measure, the 
landings of fares of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec 
province salted cod, not the product of the American fisheries. 

The first half of the year can fairly be characterized as one 
of the dullest periods ever experienced by the Gloucester salt- 
fish industry. During the fall business showed a gratifying 
increase of orders, followed by the expected winter dulness. 
The short stock of fish on hand, however, coupled with the 
improved fall trade and prospects of New Year orders, causes 
the optimistically inclined to predict a bare market for the 
spring catch, with naturally better prices, ex- vessel, and . also 
to hope that the deepest of the post-war period gloom is past, 
and that the business as a whole — catching, preparing and 
purveying to the public ■ — will gradually improve until the 
"average year" shall soon again be reached. 

The figures making up Gloucester's fish story in tabulated 
form shows, among other facts, a gratifying gain in the landings 
of fresh halibut, indicating that Gloucester as a market for this 
fine product is coming back. 

The following comparative table gives the receipts from all 
sources at this port for the past three years : ■ — 



152 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 





Dec. 1, 1920, 


Dec. 1, 1919, 


Dec. 1, 1918, 




to 
Nov. 30, 1921. 


to 
Nov. 30, 1920. 


to 
Nov. 30, 1919. 


Salt cod 


4,971,386 


2,987,751 


3,004,673 


Fresh cod 














12,579,119 


25,835.345 


28,087,983 


Halibut . 














404,473 


160,392 


306,570 


Haddock . 














8,253,660 


8,473,534 


16,127,331 


Hake 














3,481,342 


1,480,557 


779,840 


Cusk 














1,091,972 


575,399 


779,972 


Pollock . 














4,646,773 


5,117,982 


18,524,658 


Flitches . 














11,850 


5,365 


8,476 


Not product of American fisheries 








9,109,306 


14,694,475 


25,733,450 




44,549,881 


59,330,800 


93,352,953 


Fresh mackerel 


Pounds. 
540,880 


Pounds. 
420,542 


Pounds. 
302,188 


Salt mackerel 


Barrels. 
3,071 


Barrels. 
3,988 


Barrels. 
7.457H 


Fresh herring 


Pounds. 
1,366,400 


Pounds. 
842,500 


Pounds. 
1,777,844 


Salt herring 


Barrels. 
8,708 


Barrels. 
13,859 


Barrels. 
32,231 


Cured fish 


Quintals. 
22,458 


Quintals. 
9,803 


Quintals. 
12,265 


Miscellaneous: — 
Small boats (estimated) 


Pounds. 
1,200,000 


Pounds. 
2,000,000 


Pounds. 
5,000,000 


By rail 


2,674,009 


7,888,949 


23,410,979 


Flounders 


_i 


200,000 


200,000 



Summary. 



Total, 1918 (to November 30) 
Total, Dec. 1, 1918, to Nov. 30, 1919 
Total, Dec. 1, 1919, to Nov. 30, 1920 
Total, Dec. 1, 1920, to Nov. 30, 1921 



Pounds. 
143,442,954 
133,638,765 
77,977,515 
55,114,662 



An Unusual Catch. — A catch somewhat out of the ordinary 
was made on October 12 when Howard Hodgkins' trap off Rock- 
port made a haul of 300 pounds of striped bass. Old Rockport 
fishermen said it was the first catch of this kind in that locality 
for at least forty years. The fish taken in this haul weighed 
from 2\ to 5 pounds, the average weight being about 4 pounds. 
Mr. Hodgkins reports that off and on during the summer small 
numbers of these fish were taken in his traps, weighing from 
\\ to 7 pounds. A few were also taken in traps in Gloucester 
Harbor and weighed about the same. 



1 Included in small boats catch. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 153 

Run of Small Bluefish. — During the fall the inshore waters, 
from Ipswich to Gloucester, were visited by a run of small 
bluefish. These fish entered the Essex, Annisquam and Little 
rivers in considerable abundance. They took a baited hook 
readily and catches were made. The traps in Gloucester Har- 
bor and at Rockport also took quite a number of these fish, 
the catch on some days being as high as a barrel. The fish 
generally averaged from five to ten to a pound, but the largest 
two noted, caught in a Gloucester Harbor trap, together weighed 
6 pounds. It has been many years, according to local fisher- 
men, since bluefish were seen or taken in Cape Ann waters, and 
many fishermen aver that it has been twenty-five years or more 
since they have heard of or seen bluefish taken in the Annis- 
quam River. 

Large Catch of Porgies. — On August 14 large schools of 
porgies made their appearance in Boston Bay, the main body 
of the schools centering close inshore from Beverly to Nahant. 
The fish were quickly followed by a fleet of ten New York 
porgy steamers which immediately began fishing operations. 
The seines of the steamers were set quite close inshore, and the 
unusual fishing scene was viewed by hundreds of sightseers at 
Swampscott. So plentiful were the fish that they came almost 
in the surf along the rocks and beaches. As a result of their 
three or four days' operations in the vicinity above noted, the 
porgy steamers, which have a capacity of about 4,500 barrels 
each, made hauls which they estimated totaled fully 25,000 
barrels, if not more. 

While the porgy schools were in this vicinity many of the 
small boat fishermen of Swampscott availed themselves of the 
opportunity of catching a goodly bait supply. While the largest 
hauls were made during this spurt, yet porgy schools were seen 
in the bay, but further off shore, several times during the sum- 
mer, with porgy steamers near by maneuvering to catch them. 

The Lobster Fishery. 

From the best observation and information obtainable the 

lobster fishery of Massachusetts shows an increased catch over 

the previous year, and improved conditions and prospects 

are noted in many localities. True, the report from the 



154 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

majority of fishing spots is that of normal fishing, but at the 
same time more localities reported both catch above normal 
and the outlook (because of many more short and egg-bearing 
lobsters than usual in the traps) more promising, than reported 
their catch below normal. Even in several of the latter cases, 
as well as in many reporting a normal season, the returns 
showed an increase in the number of short and seed lobsters 
found. 

The returns of the lobster fishermen, required by law, show 
an increase in the catch over 1920, the total number of lobsters 
taken being 1,547,469 as against 1,262,241 in 1920. An in- 
crease over the previous season is also noted in the number of 
men and boats engaged and pots set. The number of egg- 
bearing lobsters taken and returned to the water was also more 
than reported in 1920. 

In accepting the total given above as the Massachusetts 
catch for 1921, it should be borne in mind that between 20 and 
30 large boats fish outside the 3-mile limit in waters contiguous 
to Dukes County, therefore requiring no State license, and also 
not being obliged to make an annual report of their catch. 
The catch of this fleet is considerable, and would add materially 
to the total figures. The gratifying feature of the increased 
catch is that it is not only in the total, but also an actual 
increase per pot set in the fishery. 

The catch of 1921 is the largest in number since the 9-inch 
legal length law went into effect in 1907, and also the largest of 
any year since 1890. Statistics of the catch are published in 
the Appendix. 

The short and seed lobsters seized in the spring from ship- 
ments from Nova Scotia to Boston numbered 22,000, as against 
12,650 the previous year, 18,000 in 1919, 8,000 in 1918, and 
37,000 in 1917. They were distributed on advantageous 
lobster-fishing spots along the coast. 

As required by section 106, chapter 130, General Laws, it is 
herewith reported that the number of lobster licenses issued in 
1921 was 1,002. 

The lobsters struck in about a month earlier than usual, and 
not only shed from three to four weeks before the usual time, 
but new shell lobsters were taken in April, the earliest ever 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 155 

known according to the lobster fishermen. In some localities, 
particularly in Norfolk County waters, the shell shedding 
extended over the whole season, some "shedders" being taken 
since November 1. Nantucket fishermen report what they 
term a "new species" of lobster, a great many from 5 to 7 
inches long being observed, the shells of which were very 
light red in color, appearing, when taken from the water, as 
though they had been actually boiled. 

Out of 54 questionnaires sent out to lobster fishermen and 
wardens in the lobster fishing counties, replies were received 
from 40 persons giving much interesting, detailed information, 
and on these replies the following statements are based : ■ — ■ 

From Essex County, five reported the season's catch below 
the average, three an average season, and two a catch above the 
average. While three reported the number of short lobsters 
found in the pots as normal, six stated that the number of 
"shorts" was more than in any of the past few years, and one 
replied that the number was double that caught in any recent 
year. 

Four reported that the general run of the catch as to size 
was normal, while five stated that the lobsters ran larger than 
usual, one, however, reporting that the crustaceans ran smaller 
than usual. 

Five reported the fact that the lobsters shed from three to 
four weeks earlier than usual as the distinguishing feature of 
the season. Another stated that the lobsters struck in one 
month earlier than usual, and noted as an unusual occurrence 
that the best fishing was in July, something that had never 
occurred before to his knowledge. One noted the unusual 
number of shorts as the outstanding feature of the season. 
New shell lobsters were taken in April, the earliest ever known 
by two correspondents. 

Of the three replies from Norfolk County two termed the 
catch normal and one below the average. The number of shorts 
was less according to one, and about the average in the opinion 
of two. Two found that the catch ran to larger lobsters than 
usual, and one to smaller. 

One, who has been a keen observer for years and holds 
high rank among the lobster men in their local and State asso- 



156 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

ciation, made the following significant statement in reply to the 
question as to anything unusual to distinguish the season from 
other years: "Nothing except a steady decline in the supply, 
and it appears to me, also to many of the fishermen in this 
district, that there is a steady falling off in both egg and 
merchantable lobsters, and unless there is a change in the legal 
length of the lobsters the industry will steadily decline." 

Freaky or erratic movements of the lobster schools, with the 
shedding extending over the whole season, with some shedders 
being taken since November 1, was the comment of another. 

Of the three replies from Bristol County two considered the 
catch normal, and one above normal. The number of short 
lobsters found in traps was more than usual according to two, 
while one found about the usual number, but found them 
smaller than usual. The catch ran more to small lobsters than 
usual according to two, while one found about the average 
run as to size. 

The distinguishing feature according to one was that the 
lobsters ran small, and there were plenty of them, but not 
many would measure to the standard gauge. Another re- 
marked: "The fishermen report this season's catch to have 
been one of the best they have ever known, also the number of 
shorts which were caught and put back in the water." 

Plymouth County replies from six showed four reporting a 
normal catch, one terming the catch above and one below the 
average. As to the number of short lobsters observed, three 
termed the season normal, while three considered more were 
found in the traps than in the past few years. As to the run 
of the catch, two found the size larger than usual, one smaller, 
two normal, and one reported larger offshore and smaller 
inshore. 

As to distinguishing features, one replied that there was an 
unlimited supply of lobsters in July and August. In July, 
one fisherman who set 125 traps reported that he took 213 
lobsters in one day, the largest number he ever caught in one 
day. Instead of the expected good fishing offshore this fall 
the lobstermen found the lobsters scarce and either soft-shelled 
or getting ready to shed, which was unusual for this time of 
the vear. 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 157 

Barnstable County, through seven replies, showed a variety 
of opinions. Two considered the season above, two below, 
the average, and three normal. As to the number of " shorts" 
taken in the traps, four said more and three said less, as com- 
pared with recent years. The catch ran to smaller lobsters 
according to two, larger according to two, average in the 
opinion of two, and larger offshore and smaller inshore in the 
opinion of one. 

The following distinguishing features were noted in the 
replies: "At least twice as many lobsters were caught this 
season as last — some parties claim three times as many. The 
quality has been very poor and the price low on that account. 
The lobsters shed early and kept shedding all summer. The 
large lobsters were very soft in July and August. The shell 
was hard, but the meat very soft and milky. 5 ' 

The Dukes County report contained four replies that the 
season was above the average, one terming it the best since 
1908, while two considered the catch normal. As to the number 
of shorts taken one stated: "Plenty of shorts. Only 20 per 
cent of our daily catch came up to measure. Lobsters have 
been on the increase since fishermen stopped saving shorts a 
few years ago." 

The outstanding features in this district were that legal 
lobsters were plentiful at a time when they were cheap, averag- 
ing 13 cents per pound to the fishermen during July. A 
great many more "short" lobsters were observed than usual. 
Said one: "Lobsters have not been so plentiful since 1908." 
Another reply read: "More men, more pots and a greater 
number of lobsters per pot than I have ever seen in thirty 
years' experience." 

From Nantucket five replies were received. Three referred 
to the season's catch as above, and two below, the average. 
As to "short" lobsters, less were observed off Sankaty Head 
and one other spot, but more on all the other grounds. One 
report stated: "500 per cent more;" another: "More shorts 
than for ten years. A great many 3 and 4 inch ones on the 
inshore grounds." Seed lobsters were deemed more numerous 
by three, and few, or below the average, by two. In every 
instance the size run of the catch was termed smaller than 
usual, with one report of larger offshore. 



158 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Features of the season were noted as follows: The great 
number of small lobsters seen on the grounds. Many more 
"shedders" than last year. Around Sankaty Head the bottom 
was very foul on account of the water being so warm, which 
may account for the small catch there. 

The Blue Crab (Soft Shell) Fishery. 

The common edible crab of the middle and southern Atlantic 
States is the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). In Massachusetts 
it is less common than the smaller lady crab (Ovalipes ocellatus) 
which, except for its smaller size, is equally tasty, and the rock 
crab {Cancer irroratus), which is less suitable for food. The 
warm water habitat of the blue crab precludes any extensive 
fishery in Massachusetts, as it is only found in certain estuaries 
on the south side of Cape Cod and in Buzzards Bay. 

In Bass River, Edgar X. Baker, an experienced observer for 
many years, states that some may have been obtained for the 
market in years past, but since the severe winter of 1919-20 
the blue crab has been conspicuous by its absence, and rarely 
could one be seen during the past year. 

While a few crabs are to be found in Buzzards Bay, the 
New Bedford Fish Company is unable to find any one who 
makes a business of catching them for the market. 

The other species of less economic importance are occasion- 
ally used for food. During the summer crabs are sold at 
Hough's Neck, Quincy and at Weymouth Bluffs to local trade, 
and at Xantasket beach two or three men engage in catching, 
cooking and selling this crustacean from June 1 to Xovember 1. 
x\t Xorth Plymouth a few are sold among the Italians, and 
occasionally some may be seen on sale in Boston. 

Bounties on Seals. 

Provision was made in 1919 by section 155, chapter 130, 
General Laws, for the payment of a bounty of $2 on any seal 
taken in Massachusetts, on claim properly presented to the 
town treasurer. 

Claims have been paid by towns, for which they have been 
reimbursed by the Commonwealth, as follows:- — 



1921.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



159 



Town. 



Ntjmber of Claims. 



1919. 



1920. 



1921. 



Barnstable 

Carver 

Chatham 

Duxbury 

Edgartown 

Essex 

Gloucester 

Ipswich 

Nahant 

Nantucket 

Newburyport 

Plymouth 

Revere 

Rowley 

Tisbury 

Wareham 

Winthrop 

Yarmouth 

Total number of seals 
Total amount claimed 
Fees to town treasurers for services 



300 



100 
100 



400 



500 



1,400 

$2,800 

$700 



33 

S66 
S82 50 



26 



66 
S132 
$33 



Mollusk Fisheries. 

The general condition of the mollusk fisheries has shown a 
slight improvement. The credit for this favorable aspect, 
however, is due to natural agencies which have brought about 
exceptional sets of small mollusks, rather than to the efforts 
of man. Little advance in cultural methods by shellfish farmers 
has been achieved. Considerable yet remains to be done, 
and in order to fully develop the natural mollusk resources, 
the lethargic attitude of the planters must be shaken off. 

The Division during the past few years has endeavored 
to follow the changing conditions in the mollusk fishery by 
obtaining reports from the various localities through the co- 
operation of observers to whom questionnaires are sent an- 
nually. Acknowledgment is made of the interest and courtesy 
of these observers. 



160 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The Cape Cod Board of Trade, under the energetic leadership 
of Admiral Francis T. Bowles, has taken considerable interest 
in the development of the mollusk fisheries of Barnstable 
County. Upon the request of Admiral Bowles a statement 
was submitted by this Division giving a survey of the con- 
ditions for these towns, with recommendations as to the im- 
provement or rehabilitation of these fisheries. 

Clams. 

Reports from the various clamming centers indicates a 
generally successful season, above the average. Not only has 
there been a good yield, but many areas of heavy set have 
been discovered. It is a satisfaction to report the present 
favorable conditions in the industry, since it illustrates the 
remarkable recuperative powers of nature in perpetuating an 
industry which fifteen years ago appeared to be rapidly de- 
clining. The influence of man has also had some bearing 
upon this recuperation, and the industry has been helped by 
regulating the digging, and, in certain localities, by planting 
clams. 

Ipswich Bay. — The supply of clams in Newburyport, 
Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Essex and Gloucester has been 
more than sufficient, and, on the whole, the clamming has 
been very good. The yield has been below normal from the 
Salisbury flats, as the result of overdigging. There has been a 
good supply of clams of marketable size, and a plentiful set 
of "seed" clams. Most of the clams are sold to automobilists 
along the Bay Road. 

Gloucester to Cohasset. • — The waters of Lynn, Boston and 
Cohasset harbors have practically all been closed to commercial 
clamming by the Department of Conservation upon request of 
the Department of Public Health, owing to the pollution of 
these waters, and the resultant danger to the public health. 
In nearly all of the closed areas clams are abundant. 

Plymouth to Sandwich. — The amount of clams dug in 
Plymouth Harbor has been greater during the last few years, 
owing to the cultivation of the clam flats by private com- 
panies. In 1921 the same amount was taken as during the past 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 161 

four years. Clams are found in smaller quantities between 
Plymouth Harbor and Sandwich. 

Cape Cod. ■ — The yield in this section has been about 
normal. Nearly 12,000 barrels of clams have been shipped 
from Barnstable Harbor from June to November, and many 
thousand barrels still remain. On March 31 a representative 
of this Department attended a hearing at West Barnstable 
relative to the continuation of the policy of leasing clam grants 
by the selectmen of the town of Barnstable. At that time 
evidence was submitted relative to the enormous number of 
clams in Barnstable Harbor, the result of a superabundant set. 

Buzzards Bay. — About the average annual yield has resulted 
in this locality, and no marked improvement in supply has been 
noted. Most of the beds are in easy reach either by motor 
vehicles, electric cars or on foot, and are overworked because 
of the numerous summer cottages which thickly fringe the 
shore. At Marion about 75 barrels were dug for local trade. 

Mount Hope Bay and Taunton River. • — In this section about 
7,500 bushels of clams were dug. Dighton had a fair quantity 
of clams which, however, were poor quality, owing to the 
occasional freshness of the water, which made them of little 
value except as bait. On the Taunton River shores of Somerset 
the clams are of no value owing to pollution, but upon Mount 
Hope Bay shores, about 1,500 bushels of marketable quality 
clams were taken. In Swansea about 6,000 bushels were taken, 
and marketed at almost $3 per barrel. An exceptionally fine 
set augurs well for a successful season next year. 

The Islands. — At Edgartown the usual supply was consumed 
almost wholly by the local market, as prices were low and 
freight rates were high. At Nantucket an increase in the 
supply and a good set of "seed" clams on all the flats were 
reported. 

Scallops. 

The past year has been successful for the scallop fishermen. 
In the winter and spring high prices and a poor to fair catch 
prevailed. In the fall lower prices and a good supply were the 
rule. 

Cape Cod. — A decided improvement has been noted in the 
scallop fishing on the south side of Cape Cod. 



162 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Buzzards Bay. — In spite of the scarcity of seed scallops the 
previous year, the 1920-21 season has proved even better than 
last year, but inferior to two years ago. In the New Bedford 
waters, and on the west side of the bay, it has proved to be an 
exceptional year, far ahead of last year, and, with one exception, 
the best in the last ten years. At Marion the present season 
has been better than the average, due in a measure to the 
high prices. The outlook for next year is excellent. Mr. 
Walter K. Perry states that on the off shore he has never 
before seen so much seed. This area extends south from 
Bird Island as far as Cleveland Ledge, and west to Bow Bell 
Ledge; also, in Sippican Harbor there are some seed, and off 
Great Hill along the Wareham line. If the seed winters well, a 
successful season next year is predicted. From October 1 to 
Nov. 20, 1921, 8,000 gallons were taken and sold from $2.25 
to $4 per gallon. 

Mount Hope Bay. ■ — About 200 bushels were taken in Coles 
River. 

The Islands. — The supply of scallops in the fall of 1921 
was the best for two years in Nantucket Harbor. No report 
could be given until after Dec. 15, 1921, as to the yield in the 
outside waters of Muskeget and Tuckernuck, where fishing 
does not take place before the grass goes off with heavy 
northeast gales. A splendid set of seed is reported everywhere 
on the scallop grounds, which, if not winterkilled, will furnish 
some fine fishing next season. At Edgartown the season did 
not open until November 1. In 1920-21 there was a fair catch, 
and the high price of $7.50 per gallon was received for part of 
the season by the fishermen. In the fall of 1921 scallops were 
very numerous and of good size. Forty boats were landing 
about 700 bushels daily, at a price of $2.50 to $2.75 per 
gallon. There was a very large set of seed scallops. 

Oysters. 

The oyster industry of Massachusetts is passing through a 

quiescent or stagnation period. It is barely holding its own. 

Most assuredly it is not expanding. This condition is partly 

due to inability to get suitable seed and partly to the general 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 163 

depression which has affected the entire oyster business of the 
Atlantic seacoast. 

Cape Cod. • — The annual yield of oysters has been about 
normal. 

Buzzards Bay. — An average year has resulted. On the 
natural beds, in Weweantit River, a fairly good set was noted. 

Mount Hope Bay and Taunton River. ■ — In Dighton and 
Somerset about 500 and 4,000 bushels of seed oysters, respec- 
tively, were taken from natural beds. In these waters the 
adult oyster is of no commercial value. Pollution has in- 
creased noticeably, especially owing to the refuse from the 
mammoth oil refinery at Fall River. 

Quahaugs. 

The quahaug fishery has shown little change, the catch 
running about the same year by year. The famous bed off 
Xantucket has shown the effect of severe overfishing, offset in 
part by the discovery of new areas. Xo new advance in 
quahaug culture has been made and little additional work has 
been done along this line by practical planters. 

Cape Cod. — A normal year is reported. 

Buzzards Bay. — An average yield was obtained on the east 
side of Buzzards Bay, and no change was noted in New 
Bedford waters. At Marion there was a poor season and a 
poor set, only 150 barrels being taken. Prices ranged between 
$6 and $7 per barrel. 

Mount Hope Bay. — In Swansea quahaugs are scattering, and 
a fair amount is taken. In Coles River is a grant to which 
quahaugs from the polluted areas in the Acushnet River are 
transplanted and later shipped to market. 

The Islands. — At Edgartown the catch was slightly in 
excess of the average, as quahaugs were more plentiful. Prices, 
however, were about 25 per cent below those of the last two 
years. At Xantucket the quahaug fishing in the harbor shows 
little change, but an appreciable decline in the yield of the 
large outside beds is evident. Only about 10 boats, with a 
maximum catch of 25 barrels per day, are now engaged in the 
fishing. Five years ago these same boats could easily obtain 



164 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

75 to 80 barrels of large quahaugs per day on the same beds. 
Quite a large quantity of small "seed" quahaugs have been 
found, and with only a few boats in the business, the fishing 
should improve each year. The depletion of this wonderful 
bed of quahaugs within five years well illustrates the effect of 
overfishing by man. 

On Nov. 12, 1921, a large bed of quahaugs was discovered 
between the old bed of deep-water quahaugs and Great Point. 
The exact limits of this new bed, which is extensive, have not as 
yet been determined. The boats catch 40 to 50 bushels per day 
by dredging. Nantucket is indeed fortunate to discover this 
new source of mollusk wealth at a time when the old beds were 
approaching depletion. History inevitably repeats itself, and 
in a few years this new territory will be destroyed by over- 
fishing. 

Shad. 

Owing to the scanty supply in California, the only available 
source of supply, there could be no continuation of experiments 
in shipping shad eggs across the continent for hatching and 
distribution in Massachusetts waters. 

Aleicives. 
Fishery. — The 1921 season was inferior to previous years 
owing to lower prices, although the yield in certain streams, 
such as the Mattapoisett River, showed a noticeable increase. 
The sale price showed a marked decline, e.g., the Agawam 
River fishing right, which in 1920 sold for $11,000, and in 1921 
for $200. This decline in valuation was due to the curtailed 
demand for herring scales for the manufacture of artificial 
pearls. The 1921 sale price for certain streams where fishing 
or seining rights were sold are given below. 

Agawam River $200 00 

Bass River 49 38 

Herring River, Harwich 1,900 00 

Mattapoisett River 105 00 

Mill Pond Brook, Brewster 160 00 

Taunton River 168 50 

Town Brook, Plymouth 355 00 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 165 

Further results of the careful handling of the resources of 
the Mattapoisett River are apparent. In 1917 the fishery was 
in an impoverished condition. By allowing the entire run to 
reach the spawning grounds in 1917-19, excellent results were 
obtained in 1920. These were surpassed this year, as more 
alewives than ever before were seen in this river, — a striking 
illustration of the natural recuperative powers of nature when 
aided by the efforts of man. 

Industry. — The usual marketing of the catch was followed, 
shipments of salted alewives being made to the West Indies. 
A slight increase in the demand for fresh fish was evidenced. 
The industry, from the standpoint of a commercial valuation, 
showed marked deflation, owing to the abrupt curtailment 
of the abnormally high prices once offered for the scales. 

Investigations. — Investigations during 1921 have been con- 
fined to (1) the examination of obstructions on certain streams, 
(2) inspection of fishways, and (3) stocking experiments. 

Obstructions: In November a study was made of conditions 
interfering with the passage of young alewives from White 
Island Pond down Red Brook. On Santuit River the co-oper- 
ation of the cranberry bog owners, by followinglinstructions 
from this office relative to the proper maintenance of fishways, 
proved an aid to the fishery. The attention of the board of 
selectmen of Eastham was called on October 29 to the con- 
ditions at the outlet of Herring Pond, which by its closure 
prevented the return of the young alewives to salt water. 

Fishways: Inspections were made of the following fishways: 
Ipswich Mills, Essex Company, Middleborought Electric Light 
Company, Bournedale, Agawam and the George O. Jenkins 
Company. 

Transplanting: The work of restoring the depleted alewife 
fisheries has been carried on by installing fishways wherever 
necessary, and by planting mature alewives upon the spawning 
grounds in the fresh-water ponds. Stocking operations have 
been confined to planting alewives in the headwaters of the 
Taunton River, in Robbins, Monponsett and Nippenickett 
Ponds, access to which had been provided by the establishment 
of five fish wa vs. 



166 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

For many years past these natural spawning grounds have 
been shut off by dams, and the ponds upon the Nemasket 
River were the only available breeding grounds for maintaining 
the supply of Taunton River alewives. This limitation of 
available spawning ground has been one of the chief reasons 
for the gradual depletion of the Taunton River alewife fishery. 

In 1917 the first step toward developing the Taunton alewife 
fishery was undertaken, that is, providing an unobstructed 
passageway from the sea to the former spawning grounds. 
Through the co-operation of the Connecticut Mills Company, 
a new efficient fishway was installed at East Taunton, and 
subsequently fishways were installed at Jenkins Leather Board 
Factory, Bridgewater, at the Carver Cotton Gin Company, 
East Bridgewater, and the Stanley Works, Bridgewater. This 
year work was started upon the final fishway in the Taunton 
River series, at the Easton Investment Company on the 
Town River (part of the Taunton system) at West Bridge- 
water. When completed this will provide an unobstructed 
passageway to Nippenickett as well as to Robbins and Mon- 
ponsett Ponds. 

To expedite the restoration of the Taunton alewife fishery, 
spawning alewives were planted in Lake Nippenickett, West 
Bridgewater, Robbins Pond, East Bridgewater, and Monponsett 
Ponds, Halifax. This will hasten the utilization of the spawning 
grounds made newly accessible, and insure the use of the fish- 
ways sooner, by alewives hatched in these ponds. For, accord- 
ing to the known habits of alewives, the fish return from the 
sea to spawn in the same locality in which they were hatched. 

There were planted in Robbins Pond 728, and in Monponsett 
Ponds 710 alewives. After spawning, these fish, and later their 
progeny, passed out of the ponds down the Satucket River 
and thence to the Taunton River and into the ocean. Lake 
Nippenickett received 1,260 alewives which reached the Taun- 
ton River by way of the Town River, the outlet of the lake. 

The work of stocking was in charge of Warden Tribou of 
Brockton. The Division wishes to acknowledge the whole- 
hearted co-operation of Dr. Allan L. Shirley, Mr. A. L. Parker 
and Mr. George Cobb of Bridgewater, Mr. George Williams of 
Raynham, and Mr. Edward Williams of East Taunton, who 



1921.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 167 

furnished transportation for the fish. Thanks are also due to 
the selectmen of Pembroke, who furnished spawning alewives 
from the Pembroke weir. As a result of the efforts of these 
men, the 2,698 alewives were planted at a relatively slight 
expense to the Commonwealth. The fish were transported in 
ordinary galvanized iron fish cans, aerated with pumps. Ten 
to the can was the rule, although this number was often ex- 
ceeded. Only 32 out of a total of 2,730 were lost, and prac- 
tically all were in good condition when planted. 

In the Monponsett Ponds large schools of small alewives 
were noted in the late summer and fall, particularly at the 
sluiceway between the two ponds, but by November these 
fish had passed down stream to salt water. 

Respectfully submitted, 

WILLIAM C. ADAMS, 

Director, Division of Fisheries and Game. 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX 



RECOMMENDATIONS. 

The Director of the Division of Fisheries and Game respect- 
fully recommends the passage of laws designed to accomplish 
the following purposes: — 

1. To allow the Governor to proclaim Temporary Close Seasons 
on Fish and Game. — Occasionally it happens that because of 
climatic conditions or because of a disease which may suddenly 
attack various species of fish and game, the continuance of an 
open season as prescribed by law might seriously deplete, if not 
exterminate, the species affected, and as this might occur at a 
time when the Legislature is not in session, it is expedient that 
the Governor be clothed with authority to set aside the open 
season. 

2. To allow Wardens and Deputy Wardens of this Division to 
cross Private Property. — Under the new Revised Laws only the 
Director has the right to cross private property in the per- 
formance of his duties. If the wardens and deputies do not have 
this authority their effectiveness is very much reduced. When 
this Department was under the control of "commissioners," 
and the men were "deputy commissioners ", the law could be 
interpreted to give them this right. 

3. To have the Fish and Game Law Amendments take Effect on 
January First of the Year following the Date of their Enactment. — 
It is desirable to get information of changes in the laws broad- 
cast before attempting to enforce the new laws, and as the news 
seems to travel slowly it would seem expedient to have the new 
laws go into effect on a certain date, and thus give the public 
ample time to acquaint themselves with them. 

4. To have the Fishing License Law apply to All Inland Waters, 
and to amend the Laws relative to the Issuance of Duplicate Cer- 
tificates and the Exportation of Game. — The present law requires 
licenses for fishing in only those inland waters which have been 
stocked by this Department since Jan. 1, 1910. The publication 
yearly of lists of waters stocked during the year involves con- 
siderable expense. Further, by reason of the fact that many 



172 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

streams are known by various names, much confusion is created 
in the minds of persons who wish to determine whether a 
stream has or has not been stocked. Many of the unstocked 
inland waters are being depleted, and we believe they should be 
protected by requiring licenses for fishing therein. 

A person wishing to secure a duplicate of a lost or destroyed 
license is required by the present law to apply either in person 
or by letter at the office of the Division of Fisheries and Game. 
This is an inconvenience to the public and creates a volume of 
work in the office of the Division at the busiest season of the 
year. An amendment permitting the issuance of duplicates by 
city and town clerks will remedy this, and the 25-cent fee will 
have the effect of reducing the number of licenses lost. 

Under the existing law there is no limit to the amount of fish 
or game which a non-resident may take out of the State under 
his license, except in the case of birds and brook trout. Inas- 
much as the Department is bending every effort to conserve 
the supply of wild life within the Commonwealth, it seems only 
just and fair that a limit be set. 

5. To permit the Issuance of Licenses to Certain Minors under 
Restrictions. — There are many minors under the age of fifteen, 
now set by law, who could be allowed to have permission to 
hunt with firearms if accompanied by some one who could 
coach them along and prevent them from trying reckless stunts. 
The license would not be operative if they went out alone. 

6. To alloiv Non-resident Hunters the Right to attend Field 
Trials the Same as the Right now possessed for Fox-hunting 
Activities. — This is to take care of an oversight in the hunting 
license law, and allow field trials which will not injure our game 
and thus not put a heavy burden on non-residents who are here 
for a few days only. 

7. To permit the Importation into Massachusetts of Fish and 
Game taken legally outside the Commonwealth and to permit Pos- 
session of Such Fish and Game after the Close of the Seaso?i. — 
The present laws permit the taking of the bag limit of fish and 
game on the last day of the open seasons; but the person taking 
it cannot reasonably be expected to dispose of the same im- 
mediately. The accompanying act will give a reasonable length 
of time for the disposal of game and fish legally taken during the 
open season. It will also permit the importation and possession, 
after the close seasons in Massachusetts, of fish and game taken 
legally outside of the Commonwealth. 



1921 .] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 173 

8. To make the Laws of Massachusetts relative to Migratory 
Birds conform with the Laws of the United States. — The Federal 
government has entered into a treaty with Great Britain for 
the uniform protection of migratory birds on the American con- 
tinent. The Federal laws in this connection render conflicting 
State laws void. For the convenience of the public, and for 
the proper enforcement of the law, it is desirable to have the 
laws of this Commonwealth conform with the Federal rules and 
regulations. 

9. To provide for Reports from Trappers to show to what Extent 
they are Commercializing the Fur-bearing Animals. — At the present 
time we have no way of estimating the number of fur-bearing 
animals in this Commonwealth. They are a valuable natural 
resource, and we should have information as to their abundance 
and value. 

10. To permit the Importation of Live Hares and Rabbits. — 
Our season is shorter than in other States, and many interested 
parties desire to purchase live hares and rabbits to stock our 
woods. Under the present law they must be imported and 
liberated during the open season, and they may be killed off 
immediately with no chance to propagate. It is surely no harm 
to bring them in during the close season to stock our covers if 
they have been legally taken in some other State. 

11. To prohibit the Use of Dogs during the Open Week on 
Deer. — Many dogs are taken into the woods during the deer 
week under the guise of hunting fox, raccoons, rabbits, etc. They 
are really used to help take the deer, but it is impossible to 
meet the situation under the present law. If all dogs are ruled 
out of the woods during the open week, the same as rifles are, 
the matter can be handled more fairly. 

12. To prohibit the Use of Snares. — The present law forbids 
the use of wire snares, but cord snares are just as deadly to 
dogs and game and also to human beings. No snares of any 
sort should be allowed in the woods. 

13. To extend the Close Season on Quail in Certain Counties. — 
There are few quail left in these counties. While they have been 
protected during the past few years, and have shown an increase, 
it has not been sufficient to warrant an open season. 

14. To repeal the Salmon Law on Lake Quinsigamond. — 
Under present laws the Commissioner of Conservation has the 
right to make rules and regulations for the taking of salmon, 
and there is no reason why they should not apply to this lake 



174 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

as well as all others. The situation which required a special law 
for that lake no longer exists. 

15. To regulate the Catching and Sale of Fresh-water Fish. — 
Winter fishing and absence of restriction on the sale of pond 
fish have been two of the principal causes of the depletion of 
inland fisheries during the past few years. Progressive conserva- 
tion demands that catch and sale limits be established. 

16. To extend the Close Season on Black Bass. — Bass are late 
spawners and need more time to carry eggs than other fish. 
They are easily caught in the late spring after hibernating and 
not eating during the winter. 

17. To establish the Authority of the State Inspector of Fish. — 
The original act imposed certain restrictive measures on the sale 
of fish, but it contains no definite statement as to the authority 
of the Inspector or his deputies to enforce the provisions of these 
sections. 

18. To amend Certain Sections of Chapter 94 of the General 
Laws. — It is advisable to change the wording in a few places 
so that the provisions will be clearly understood and no incon- 
sistent statements contained therein. 

19. To allow the Commissioner of Conservation to sell Certain 
Lands and Buildings in the Towns of Palmer and Wilbraham. — 
It seems advisable to either turn over to some other State 
department or to restore as taxable property certain parts of the 
Palmer fish hatchery and the Wilbraham game farm as appear 
to be no longer needed for maintaining operations at these two 
stations. 



1921, 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



175 



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FISH AND GAME. 



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1921. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



177 



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178 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 















Number of Pounds of Fish taken 


Town. 


03 

s 

% 

9 
< 


1 

a 

3 

3 


E 

C 
3 
o 

5 




d 

■8 

M 

a 
m 


I 


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m 


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pq 

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Barnstable 


- 


- 


- 


111,770 


- 


- 


157 


- 


Beverly . 






- 


- 


12,150 


- 


" 


- 


- 


- 


Brewster 






48,800 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Chatham 






- 


- 


- 


4,530 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Chilmark 






10,150 


- 


141,336 


5,000 


2,200 


- 


2,320 


52 


Dennis . 






- 


- 


200 


2,227 


- 


- 


9,000 


- 


Falmouth 






12,808 


- 


125 


401 


16,937 


- 


3,211 


- 


Fairhaven 






12,000 


472 


7,018 


1,048 


32,555 


- 


175 


- 


Gloucester 






3,500 


521 


34,613 


23,382 


- 


6,000 


- 


- 


Gosnold 






- 


945 


644 


4,778 


5,958 


10 


4,867 


27 


Manchester 






2,400 


- 


- 


5,585 


3,000 


67,890 


- 


- 


Marshfield 






500 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Nahant . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Nantucket 






28,600 


100 


18,575 


37,700 


- 


- 


3,700 


1,050 


Newburyport 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


New Bedford 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Plymouth 




- 


- 


- 


7,622 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Province town 




- 


- 


150,500 


109,411 


- 


r 


- 


- 


R aynham 




78,110 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Salem 






- 


- 


5,738 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Sandwich 






- 


- 


- 


226 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Scituate . 






- 


- 


- 


287 


2,000 


- 


- 


- 


Truro . 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Tisbury . 






15,177 


648 


2,380 


10,923 


19,517 


64 


42,853 


223 


Westport 






- 


- 


310 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Winthrop 






- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Yarmouth 






212,045 


2,686 


35,880 
409,469 


18,699 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Totals 


343,589 


82,167 


73,964 


66,283 


1,352 



1921.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



179 



in Pounds, Nets, Traps, etc., 1921. 



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6 

3 

3 


- 


- 


15 


8 


199,925 


20 


38,445 


2,404 


352,744 


$17,639 20 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


12,850 


30,246 


55,246 


8,241 38 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


48,800 


304 00 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


. - 


21,861 


26,391 


8,093 32 


- 


- 


220 


- 


- 


- 


6,700 


373,287 


541,265 


59,500 96 


- 


- 


- 


- 


101,600 


300 


- 


8,617 


121,944 


2,399 34 


- 


- 


- 


- 


16,794 


5,239 


730 


56,445 


112,690 


10,383 07 


1,482 


16 


4 


37 


52,360 


7,366 


22,652 


13,725 


150,910 


4,894 65 


16,000 


- 


- 


- 


8,000 


- 


48,220 


89,037 


229,273 


28,216 54 


2,478 


- 


39 


- 


36,750 


7,290 


10,064 


470,425 


544,275 


64,527 73 


4,164 


- 


- 


- 


1,971 


- 


29,315 


458 


114,783 


5,706 03 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1,200 


110,356 


112,056 


22,780 78 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


725 


28,842 


29,567 


8,334 79 


600 


- 


- 


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61 


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62,896 


17,624 25 


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Public Document No. 25 



Cfje Commontoealtft of 9§as0acf)usetts 



ANNUAL REPORT 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 



Year ending November 30, 1922 



Department of Conservation 




BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 



- ablic Document No. 25 



Cfte Commontoealtl) of 6@a00acf)U0ett0 



i-u ; 



ANNUAL REPORT 
DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 



Year ending November 30, 1922 



Department of Conservation 




PUBLICATION OI' THIS "CoCinvlENT 
APPROVED VY n .Hr, 

Commission on Administration and Finance 



BOSTON 

WRIGHT & POTTER PRINTING CO., STATE PRINTERS 

32 DERNE STREET 



JU: 

STATE HOU&. 
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION. 



Commissioner. 
WILLIAM A. L. BAZELEY. 



DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME. 



Director. 
WILLIAM C. ADAMS. 

Inspector of Fish. 
ARTHUR L. MILLETT. 

Secretary. 
Miss L. B. RIMBACH. 

Chief Fish and Game Warden. 
ORRIN C. BOURNE. 

License Clerk. 
W. RAYMOND COLLINS. 

Supervisor of Distributions. 

JAMES A. KITSON. 

Biologist. 
DAVID L. EELDIN'J. 

Office: Room 500, Stare House, Boston, Mass. 



6<3<?M3 

C73/ix 

CONTENTS. 



General Consideration 
Annual Report 
Personnel 
Finances 
Conferences . 
Activities outside the State 
Courtesies 
Enforcement of Laws 
Court Work . 
Equipment 
Legislation 
Education and Publicity 
Biological Department 
Wild Birds and Animals 
Winter Feeding 
Breeding Season 
Fires 

Posted Land . 
Migratory Birds 

Song and Insectivorous Birds 
Migratory Game Birds 

Plover (black-breast, golden, killdeer, piping) 
Snipe (Jack or Wilsons, dowitcher, woodcock) 
Rails ....... 

Sandpipers (spotted, least, semi-palm ated^ solitary 
Hudsonian Curlew 
Wild Fowl 
Ducks 
Geese 
Brant 

Statistics of gunning stands 
Migratory non-game Birds — Gulls and Terns 
Destructive Agencies 
Oil . 

Light Houses 
Federal Control of Migratory Birds 
Upland Game 
Pheasants 
Ruffed Grouse 
Quail 
Deer 
Moose 
Squirrels 

Hares and Rabbits 
Fur-bearing Animals 
Enemies to Game . 
Cats 
Starlings 

Hawks, Owls and Other Vermin 
Reservations .... 

Martha's Vineyard Reservation 
Myles Standish State Forest 
Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary 
Reservations under Sections 09-75, Ch. 131, Gen. Laws 
Inland Fisheries . 
General 
Brook Trout . 
Brown Trout 
Chinook Salmon 
Pike Perch 
Pickerel 
Bass 

White Perch 
Smelt . 



yellow legs, knot) 



CONTENTS. 



Inland Fisheries — Concluded. 
Horned Pout and Catfish 
Blue Gill Sunfish . 
Winter Fishing 

Ponds ..... 
Ponds stocked and closed . 
Privately-owned ponds stocked 
Spawning areas closed 
Screens ..... 
Fishways .... 
Saugus River . 
Taunton, Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers 
East Taunton Fishway 
Jenkins Leatherboard Company 
Carver Cotton Gin Company 
The Stanley Works . 
Easton Investment Co. 
Ipswich River . 
Ipswich Mills 
Norwood Mills . 
Willowdale Dam 
Merrimack River 

Lawrence Fishway 
Lowell Fishway 
Paskamansett River 
Barker's River 
Parker River . 
Pollution .... 

Effect of Trade Wastes on Fish 
Effects of Oil Wastes 
Water Pollution Survey 
Investigation of Complaints 
Propagation of Fish and Game 

Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms 
Palmer Fish Hatchery 
Pike Perch 

Small-mouth Black Bass 
Large-mouth Black Bass 
Pickerel 
Brook Trout 
Brown Trout 
Horned Pout 
Blue Gill 
Sandwich Fish Hatcheries 
Sutton Hatchery 
Brook Trout 
Brown Trout 
Horned Pout 
Stockwell Ponds 
Montague Rearing Station 
Amherst Rearing Station . 
Marshfield Bird Farm 
Sandwich Bird Farm 
Pheasants 
Wood ducks 
Quail 
Wilbraham Game Farm 
Field Propagation . 
Stockwell Ponds 
Shaker Mill Pond . 
Game Breeding by Private Enterprise 
Fish and Game Distribution . 
Fish Distribution . 
Brook Trout . 
Pike Perch or Wall-eyed Pike 
Small-mouth Black Bass . 
Horned Pout and Catfish . 
Brown Trout . 
Blue Gill 
Alewife . 
Smelt 

White Perch . 
Fish Salvage . 
Game Distribution 
Tables of Fish and Game Distribution 



CONTENTS. 



Marine Fisheries 

Inspection of Fish . 

Work of the Deputies 

Inspection at Producing Points 

The Splitting Fish Problem 

Fish condemned 

Decision on "jellied" Swordfish 
The Deep Sea Fisheries . 

Fresh Fishing or Haddock Fleet 

Swordfishing Fleet . 

The Mackerel Fishery- 
Salt Bank Codfishing 

The Shacking Fleet . 

Fresh Halibut Fleet . 

The Gill Netting Fleet 

The Flounder Fishery- 
Salt and Frozen Herring Fleet 

Fishing Notes of Interest . 

Cape Cod Activities . 

Buzzards Bay Fisheries 

Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Fisheries 

Boston Fishing Activities 

The Gloucester Fisheries 
Shore Fisheries 
Lobster Fishery 
Bounties on Seals 
Mollusk Fisheries 

Clam 

Scallop . 

Oyster 

Quahaug 
Shad . 
Alewife . 
Appendix : — 

Recommendations for legislation 



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47 



FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Cfte Commontoealtf) of auassacfttisettg 



The Director of Fisheries and Game herewith presents the fifty-seventh annual 
report. 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. 

In the early da} r s of American colonial life ample opportunity was offered to the 
settlers to hunt and fish on the large areas of unoccupied territory. Through the 
years, population has increased rapidly and today there is comparatively little 
wild land in the United States. Under our democratic form of government the 
owner of the land has complete control over it, subject to the police powers of the 
State, and can determine who shall come on to it, and for what purpose. With 
the growth in population and the formation of large communities, the relation of 
the landowner to the non-landowner presents interesting problems of adjustment. 
Among these is the one of the respective rights of all the citizens to pursue and take 
wild life. In Massachusetts, for example, the upwards of eight thousand square 
miles of territory is owned by a comparatively small portion of the population. 
The wild life on that land, however, in the eyes of the law belongs to all the citizens 
of Massachusetts. What, then, shall be the rights of the large population of non- 
landowners to pursue and take that which is the property of all the citizens? 

The small number of landowners may lawfully exclude all the rest of the citizens 
from coming on their land to hunt and fish. In a given season the State may sub- 
stantially stock a given section with game and fish raised with funds contributed 
by all the taxpayers. Yet there is nothing in the law to prevent the owner of the 
land thus stocked from posting it to exclude the public at large, and rent the shooting 
privilege to any person who will pay the price. Practically the only exception to 
the state of affairs cited is in respect to the great ponds of the Commonwealth, on 
which the Constitution guarantees free boating, fowling and fishing forever. The 
generous attitude of the land owners in the past has deferred the facing of a problem 
which sooner or later will have to be solved. 

The State licenses give the purchasers the right to hunt and fish according to 
law. The law permits fishing on unnavigable streams and hunting in the covers 
only in case the land owner is willing. To push the argument to its logical conclu- 
sion, it is conceivable that the time may come when these rights to hunt and fish 
may be sufficiently valuable (at least in favorable localities) so that those wishing 
to enjoy these sports will have to compensate the land owner in addition to paying 
the license fees. 

Annually a substantial sum is expended by the State to restock the covers and 
waters, building up a permanent stock of wild life. This is being done more and 
more with the funds voluntarily provided by the hunters and fishermen who pay 
the license fees. But the work is proceeding without the adoption of suitable 
guarantees or proper provision that these expenditures will inure to the lasting 
benefit of those supporting it. In our opinion these safeguards can best be set up 
by establishing annually with a portion of the fees, public shooting and fishing 
grounds to be open to the citizens of the Commonwealth for all time. In connection 
with these there should be permanent sanctuaries where such native species as the 
grouse, quail, pickerel, etc., which experience has shown are not easily propagated, 
may breed naturally under favorable conditions. 



1922. 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



There are many other uses to which the same areas could properly be put without 
conflicting with the main purposes. Some lands during the summer months might 
well be used for camping and other recreational purposes not inconsistent with the 
breeding seasons. On sizeable tracts reforestation could be carried on to advantage. 
All the areas could be reasonably open to wild life observers. The foregoing only 
hints at possibilities; but the essential thing is to reveal the lack of protection 
existing under present laws, to the annual investment, and to indicate what should 
be done to provide for all time a net-work of public shooting grounds, bird sanctu- 
aries and public recreation grounds in general. A "back to the land" movement is 
today discernible in our people. An increasing value is placed on the many benefits 
of all kinds of outdoor sports. It will never be possible to make this plan a reality 
at a less cost than today. 

Annual Report. 

The law in respect to reports to be made by State officials prescribes that they 
shall consist of "a brief summary of the 3'ear's work, with recommendations for the 
succeeding fiscal year." The radical change in plan and volume of this report is 
made to conform to the law. 

Personnel. 
There were no changes in departmental officials. 

Finances. 





Appropria- 
tions. 


Expenditures. 


Balances. 


For salaries and maintenance 

For special purposes 

Available from 1921 balances 


$208,000 00 
11,950 00 
2,500 00 


$205,063 92 
11,229 77 
2,500 00 


$2,936 08 
720 23 


Balances available for next year 


$222,450 00 


$218,793 69 


$3,656 31 
691 57 


Returned to general treasury 


- 


- 


$2,964 74 



The impression has prevailed that the revenue from fines and from the license 
fees has been sufficient to support our work. Without marshalling the figures it is 
sufficient to say that this revenue has provided about fifty per cent of actual ex- 
penditures since 1909 when the license law went into effect. The State govern- 
ment is constantly on the alert to discover additional revenues. The most modern 
thought is that activities more or less recreational should be nearer self-supporting; 
hence the doubling of the hunting and fishing license fees last year. It is to the 
great credit of those who buy licenses that this was accepted without protest, and 
it gave an increase in revenue in 1922 of $66,415.65 over that of the preceding 
year. The law requires that all money received from any source whatever shall be 
paid into the general treasury, and disbursed on a budget system. The income from 
the license fees is not specifically set aside for our use. But the voluntary accept- 
ance by the sportsmen of the increased fees, while not a controlling factor, would 
naturally be taken into consideration by the legislature in determining the annual 
appropriation. 

The revenue turned into the State treasury was: license fees (see details below), 
$178,599.80; sales at game farms and fish hatcheries, $230.53; sales of game tags, 
$39.65; sale of forfeited goods, $115.15; lease of Chilmark Pond, $75; lease of 
clam flats, $10; total, $179,070.13. 

There are 17 different kinds of licenses for hunting and fishing. Condensed into 
4 general classes the returns show: 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 





Total 

Number 
issued. 


Gross 
Value. 


Fees to 
Clerks. 


Net 

Return to 

State. 


Combination licenses 

Hunting licenses 

Fishing licenses 

Lobster licenses 


63,861 

22,537 

49,503 

1,112 


$115,128 75 

30,559 50 

52,351 50 

1,112 00 


$9,578 85 

3,381 00 

7,425 30 

166 80 


$105,549 90 

27,178 50 

44,926 20 

945 20 




137,013 


$199,151 75 


$20,551 95 


$178,599 80 



Conferences. 

The 3 r early conferences with the sportsmen, at which are made public and dis- 
cussed the Division's proposed recommendations for new legislation, were held in 
January at Middleborough, Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield, as well as Boston, 
to give as wide a representation as possible. The small attendance and little criti- 
cism advanced apparently indicated general satisfaction with existing conditions. 

In March a conference of the wild fowl gunning interests was called, made timely 
by current criticisms in the press to the effect that the sport is being commercialized 
and excessive numbers of ducks and geese taken at the gunning stands. Though 
ever}' opportunity was given for the opposition to be heard, apparently public senti- 
ment was not greatly aroused. While it is a fact that the numbers taken exceeded 
the totals of other years, it is equally true that under federal protection ducks and 
geese are appearing in greatly increased numbers on their migrations through the 
State. 

Activities outside the State. 

The Director attended the meeting of the Game Breeders' Association of the 
American Game Protective and Propagation Association; of the Advisory Com- 
mittee to the Department of Agriculture on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; of 
the International Association of Game, Fish and Conservation Commissioners; 
and of the American Fisheries Society. 

Courtesies. 

We acknowledge with a full realization of their value, the co-operation and many 
courtesies received from individuals, associations and agencies of various kinds, of 
which the demands of brevity make detailed mention impossible. 



ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. 

Court Work. 

Law enforcement was conducted in substantially the same manner as in previous 
years, and a larger number of court cases handled than last year, with no increase 
in the number of wardens. 

Number of cases, 544; convicted, 517; discharged, 27; (filed, 113; appealed 7); 
fines imposed, $6,099; costs paid, $82. This does not take into consideration the 
cases presented to the Federal courts through the Federal warden, evidence for 
which was secured by the State wardens. 

Licenses revoked: resident combination, 81; resident fishing, 39; resident hunt- 
ing, 16; non-resident fishing, 1; alien hunting, 1; alien fishing, 4; total, 142. 

The crusade against infractions of the lobster laws was continued and 65 cases, 
with $1,385 in fines, brought to court. Handling of short lobsters and unlicensed 
fishing are the commonest offences against the lobster laws. Regular inspections 
were made of shipments received at Boston from Nova Scotia, and 10,816 short 
lobsters seized therefrom were liberated. Due to lack of funds and a question as 
to the advisability of the procedure, no egg-bearing lobsters were purchased from 
dealers and fishermen. 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 9 

There were 13 prosecutions against aliens for unlawful possession and use of fire- 
arms, with fines of $500. Fifteen shot guns and rifles thus unlawfully possessed 
were confiscated. 

Despite two years of wide publicity of the requirements of the fishing license 
law, 130 persons were apprehended for fishing without a license with fines of SI, 070. 
For the companion offence of hunting without a license there were only 51 cases 
with $465 in fines. 

A particular drive was made to stamp out the practice among foreign-born 
persons of killing song and insectivorous birds, resulting in 34 cases with $590 in 
fines. 

Among violations of the fishing laws, taking short trout, 16 cases with fines $190, 
and taking short pickerel, 37 cases and fines of $103, took the lead. 

Breaches of the trapping laws led to 33 cases in court and $315 in fines. 

The warden force worked closely in touch with the U. S. Biological Survey in 
enforcing the federal migratory bird laws, our wardens being likewise U. S. Deputy 
Game Wardens. Particular attention was given to patrol of the coastal districts 
during the open season on shore birds. 

Equipment. 

The gift of two Ford cars by the sportsmen and individuals in and about Mans- 
field and by the Bay State Sportsmen's Association of Lynn; the contribution 
toward the purchase of a car of $150 by the Cape Cod Fish and Game Association 
of Falmouth; and the purchase of four new Ford cars with State funds, gives the 
warden force 9 state-owned and 15 privately owned cars at its disposal for patrol 
work. Though this represents a definite improvement, complete motorization of 
the force is needed for complete efficiency. 

A 28-foot hull with good speed lines was purchased, and on the installation of a 
high-grade motor this will give a small, fast boat for coping with violations in the 
harbors, bays and rivers. 

Legislation. 

Recommendations for legislation are to be found in the Appendix. 

EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY. 

The publicity work was handled principally by the law-enforcement organiza- 
tion. Illustrated lectures covering various phases of propagation and conservation 
work have taken a great deal of time and effort on the part of the officials. Wardens 
have done similar work in their districts, devoting considerable attention to the 
school children. 

With one exception the exhibits at the county fairs, made for a number of years 
past, were discontinued. These fairs come at the season when wardens are urgently 
needed for patrol work; exhibits are of necessity practically identical from year to 
year; and the labor and expense is great. It was felt, on the whole, that the money 
could be used to better advantage in other lines of publicity. The results of the 
educational work which has been carried on since 1916 have been distinctly and 
unquestionably evident in the last couple of years. 

BIOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT. 

This year the direction of the distribution of the hatchery products was taken 
over by the biological department, this being recognized more and more as time 
goes on as a purely biological problem. (See Fish and Game Distribution.) 

Further studies were made relative to the pathology, etiology and epidemiology 
of fish diseases, particularly the epidemic forms. Examination was made of speci- 
mens of " jellied" swordfish in connection with the work of the Inspector of Fish; 
and outbreaks of disease or unusual conditions at the hatcheries, were studied and 
treated. 



10 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

In addition to routine pathological examination of diseased birds, autopsies were 
performed on water fowl killed by the oil wastes which pollute the coastal waters. 
(See Pollution.) 

A survey of the Aberjona River was completed and the effects upon fish life of 
certain chemicals connected with paper mill wastes were studied. (See Pollution.) 

Biological surveys were made of the Parker and the Ipswich rivers, with special 
reference to development of the fisheries therein. 

Observations were continued in regard to the methods of improving the alewife 
fishery: the newly opened spawning grounds at the headwaters of the Taunton 
River were stocked with mature alewives; data collected concerning present con- 
ditions and the year's run for the various alewife fisheries. (See Marine Fisheries, 
Alewives.) 

Considerable progress has been made in fishway installation. (See Fishways.) 

A survey of the condition of the clam, oyster, scallop and quahaug fisheries, 
similar to the survey of 1909, was completed, with special attention to the changes 
which have taken place during that time. (See Marine Fisheries, Mollusks.) 

WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS. 

Winter Feeding. 

The winter of 1921-1922 was, on the whole, an open one, and easy on the 
game. The storm of Nov. 27-28, 1921, which coated the inland portions of the 
State with tons of ice, while wrecking the trees badly was not of sufficient duration 
to work wholesale havoc with the larger birds. The smaller ones apparently 
perished in large numbers through food scarcity in the period following. As emer- 
gency rations for the ground feeding birds 330,020 pounds of scratch feed were sent 
out for distribution through wardens, boy and girl scouts, rural mail carriers, asso- 
ciations, individuals and other agencies. 

Breeding Season. 

The spring and early summer was marked by an abnormal amount of rainfall. 
May was wet and cold ; June and July a period of almost continuous rain, the June 
storms rather cold but with the warmer weather of July modifying the severity of 
its rain. This condition, though with local variations, prevailed generally over the 
State. It was feared that these conditions in the nesting and rearing season would 
wipe out the season's hatch, but far less damage resulted than was expected. The 
season was about two weeks earlier than usual, and when the wet period came the 
weather had warmed up somewhat and the young were sufficiently developed to 
resist exposure. While an excessive rainfall is not desirable, nevertheless it is less 
deadly than great changes of temperature during a rainy season. 

Fires. 

The amount of land, both field and woodland, burned over by forest fires was 
greatly in excess of any year since 1911. All this had its effect on the bird popula- 
tion by destroying the breeding birds and young when fires occurred in the breeding 
season, by restricting the nesting sites, cover, and food supplies. 

Posted Land. 

The tendency towards posting lands seems to have been arrested. Many forces 
are working calculated eventually to bring about a greater freedom of the public 
on the land, e.g. the educational work of the Division and the sportsmen's associa- 
tions; the better understanding by the average hunter and fisherman of the value 
of these privileges, induced by the greater cost of the licenses, and the realization 
that continuance of the privilege depends on the goodwill of the land owners. 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 11 



Migratory Birds. 
Song and Insectivorous Birds. 

Permits were issued to 79 individuals for the collection of birds, eggs and nests 
for scientific purposes under which 308 birds and 522 eggs were collected. To 
persons acting for the U. S. Biological Survey in determining facts concerning bird 
migration, 185 bird banding permits were issued. It is well-nigh impossible to 
make any general statement concerning a classification of bird life which includes 
so many varieties as that known as "song and insectivorous birds." Our particular 
duty to these species is the enforcement of the protective laws, to which special 
attention was given this year. (See Law Enforcement.) 

The report of the Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary, where much of the effort centers 
around the species under discussion, appears under Reservations. 

Migratory Game Birds. 

In a State bordering on the ocean the attempt to report bird migrations is very 
difficult because, under favorable conditions, a large percentage passes out over the 
water. On May 12 occurred, on the north shore, one of the greatest nights of shore 
birds in many years, and again along the shores from Aug. 27 to 29 a remarkably 
heavy flight, especially numerous at points on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. 
The reports during the fall migration indicate that more birds than usual went 
south outside, and with pronounced losses by reason of adverse conditions when 
flying over the ocean. 

Plover. — There was no spring flight of the black-breast plover on the north 
shore. South of Boston it was normal. There were fewer than usual at the opening 
of the shooting season on Aug. 16, and but few golden plover. The flight came in 
a body, mostly from Aug. 27 to 29. Upland plover presented no unusual features 
in the spring flight. Through the summer and fall more were reported than has 
been the case for a number of years. Killdeer plover are increasing, and more bred 
than in recent years. Piping plover are spreading on our coast. 

Snipe. — The flight of the Jack or Wilson's snipe, owing to the high waters in 
the late spring, was more scattering than usual, yet in favorable localities heavier 
than in recent years. On the fall migration large numbers passed over Massachu- 
setts. In many places the usual favorable conditions did not obtain, as, for example, 
in the flooded marshes along many of the rivers. On the other hand, in the wet 
marshes that were attractive the flight was heavier than usual and it came late, 
many birds being reported up to late October, and a number shot in early No- 
vember. 

The spring flight of the dowitcher or red-breasted snipe was of ordinary propor- 
tions. With the beginning of the shooting season Aug. 16 and continuing during 
the usual flight period they were reported in increasing numbers throughout the 
entire coast, but more noticeable from the central coast to the south. 

As for woodcock, indications from all over the State showed no unusual features 
in the spring flight. There was the normal distribution in the breeding areas. In 
some localities the young birds were unusually numerous; in a few sections none 
were reported. It is always difficult to properly size up the crop of young birds, 
for opinions are apt to be based on their presence along travelled areas rather than 
from investigations deep in the covers where the tenacious foliage conceals them 
from casual observation. In the fall prior to the open season woodcock were 
numerous, indicating that uniformly over the State the breeding season was favor- 
able. Testimony of the past few years is to the effect that they are substantially 
on the increase. 

Rails. — The Sora rail appeared throughout its natural range in about usual 
numbers. It is not hunted to any great extent, and is slowly increasing. The high 
waters of the late summer gave it more than usual protection during the entire 
season. * 



12 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Sandpipers. — The spring flight of sandpipers did not indicate an unusual number 
of birds, but in the spring and early fall migration larger numbers were observed 
than usual. Taking the several species as a whole the reports all along the shore 
indicated that larger numbers were present throughout the period as a whole. 

For the past ten years very few of the knot or red-breasted sandpiper have been 
seen on Nantucket, but this year's appearance there was the largest in the last 
fifteen years. 

Speaking of yellow legs, the spring migration of the summer yellow legs was of 
ordinary proportions, indicating a fairly well distributed and maintained move- 
ment. The fall flight was ordinary in numbers passing, as well as to time. 

The spring migration of winter yellow legs revealed more birds than usual, the 
flight starting and continuing under normal conditions. The fall flight was one of 
the heaviest known in years and continued well into October, 

Hudsonian Curlew. — There was the usual scattering of curlew along the shore 
during the spring movement. On the fall migration, while it was not as heavy as 
a year ago, enough birds appeared to show that the curlew, especially the Hudsonian, 
bids fair to slowly increase. 

Wild Fowl. — There was nothing unusual to mark the general spring migration 
of wild fowl. The movement in the fall indicated, taking all classes into considera- 
tion except geese, that the wild fowl are steadily responding to the protection by 
Canada and the United States. The shooting seasons in both countries are reason- 
ably conservative, as are the bag limits. So far we have done well, but there still 
remain the great needs of extensive breeding areas and permanent resting places 
along the lines of flight. When these are provided the people of the North American 
continent will have solved for all time the problem of maintaining and increasing 
wild fowl life. 

Black Duck. — The black duck lived up to expectations in maintaining the in- 
crease of the past few years. The spring flight was normal as to time and through- 
out the entire range the birds bred in practically every favorable locality. Fewer 
were taken in the open season than last year. This is difficult to account for, one 
reason probably being that the high water on the marshes gave a greater feeding 
area than usual. 

Wood Duck. — The spring migration of wood duck was without special feature; 
they bred well and large numbers of young were seen. Increased interest was dis- 
played by individuals in breeding them. They enjoy complete protection in Massa- 
chusetts and have increased substantially, locally as well as throughout the country. 

Mallard Duck. — Every spring a few mallards are observed. The extent of their 
breeding in the State is difficult to judge, since many of the semi-wild product of 
recent artificial propagation follow the migration of the wild birds, returning in the 
spring to breed. The fall generally brings a scattering of mallards, but they are 
not counted on to supply much of the bag. 

Red Head. — The spring flight was not unusual in any respect, the movement 
being observed only off Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. During the fall more 
were reported in sections generally visited by them, than has been the case for 
some years. 

Canvasback. — The canvasback has always been a very uncertain factor in the 
sporting possibilities. The spring flight is of no moment, and the fall flight very 
uncertain. Usually the number of canvasbacks are more or less in proportion to 
the number of red heads. Several substantial flocks were reported, and more 
taken than usual. 

Bluebill. — The spring movement of bluebills, normal in proportions, started 
and finished about per schedule. In a few localities it was slightly on the increase. 
The fall migration started early and was well sustained. The bluebill (we refer to 
the greater and lesser scaup collectively) appears to be slightly increasing in num- 
bers, although one of the favorite ducks of the Atlantic coast. 

Scoter. — The spring and fall migrations were of usual proportions, with the im- 
provement shown last year as to numbers, maintained. 

Whistler. — The whistlers (Golden Eye) arrived somewhat later than usual on 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 13 

the southerly migration in the winter of 1921, and in normal numbers. Owing 
to its late arrival it is not heavily gunned in this State as in the old days when 
shooting whistlers from an ice hole after the waters had frozen up, afforded 
sport to a very rugged type of gunner. The spring migration was unnoteworthy, 
with the usual number of birds. Considering the complete protection accorded it 
in most North Atlantic waters after the first of February it is surprising that increase 
is not more rapid. 

Widgeon. — The spring flight is negligible. The fall flight disclosed the usual 
number of birds, which were localized more or less, as in previous years, in several 
fresh-water ponds on the mainland and Martha's Vineyard. Some are taken 
annually on Nantucket. 

Sheldrake. — The spring flight was normal with an increasing number of birds, 
while the fall flight was fairly heavy. 

Geese. — The beginning of the period of this report is Dec. 1, — in the middle of 
the southern migration. On Nov. 24, 1921, just before the memorable ice storm, 
there was an immense flight of geese (as well as other water birds) along our coast. 
The geese came for days, and the flight was sustained throughout the balance of 
the open season (to Dec. 31). A southern movement was noted even later. Good 
numbers remained through the winter. The increase in the numbers of geese in 
migration has hitherto been most apparent on the fall flight. This year the northern 
movement in the spring was of a character to cause general comment. The flocks 
appeared early, and flew steadily and continuously, in immense numbers. It is 
the general opinion that the spring flight of 1922 was the greatest in a generation. 
The fall flight started rather early, and indications presaged a heavy flight; but 
there was a decided slackening and up to November 30 a very lean year is to be 
recorded. The fall was marked by mild weather, and reports indicate that large 
numbers of geese passed down over the ocean. 

Brant. — The spring flight of brant off Nantucket began early and was very 
heavy. Thousands stopped all winter as there was little ice. The fall flight was 
likewise unusually heavy. Such reports as have been received from the rest of the 
State indicate larger numbers on the spring than the fall movement. 

Statistics of the Gunning- Stands. — Number of stands operated, 145; reports 
received, 123; geese shot, 2,960; ducks shot, 13,454; live goose decoys, 3,647; 
wooden goose decoys, 3,653; live duck decoys, 5,033; wooden duck decoys 3,328. 

Migratory Non-Game Birds, — Gulls and Terns. 

Caretakers were employed at the Chatham and the Monomoy colonies during 
the breeding season. 

At Chatham weather conditions were favorable except for a period from mid- 
June to July when severe rainstorms and cold killed many young. The year's 
product which survived was about 2,500. The small amount of vermin which 
showed itself was trapped up. 

At Monomoy the locality was found to be overrun with wild house cats and 
skunks. Persistent work through the season resulted in comparative freedom from 
vermin at its close. Considering how much the colony has been reduced by vermin 
in previous years, the season may be called good. The breeding birds numbered 
approximately 1,000. There were some losses from vermin and the storms of June 
raised havoc, but thereafter the season was successful and the production approxi- 
mately doubled the number of breeding birds. During the following fall the keeper 
of the Monomoy Light continued the work of vermin extermination. 

No survey was made of the other colonies, but reports of many hundreds of 
newly hatched terns dead on the islands off the coast point to a considerable loss 
from the storms of June and July. 

Destructive Agencies. 

Oil. — The effect of oil waste on water birds is discussed under "Pollution." 
Light Houses. — Of the 57 lights, 49 reports were received. At 36 no birds were 
killed on migration; 13 report fatalities aggregating 139 birds. 



14 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Federal Control of Migratory Birds. 

The Public Shooting Ground — Game Refuge Bill is still in Congress. While the 
general regulations for the taking of wild fowl on the North American continent are 
well worked out, the equally important requirements of protected breeding grounds 
and rest areas in migration remain practically untouched. Until these are provided 
for we have built without our foundation. 

Upland Game. 

Pheasants. 

Pheasants wintered very well, as there were no deep snows and little sleet or 
crust. The breeding season presented no unusual features. The plan of shooting 
only cock birds has won public favor, and the regulations of last year were con- 
tinued. The reports of pheasants shot in open season (required by law to be made 
by hunters) showed 1,728 killed, a substantial increase over the previous year. It 
is realized that these figures are incomplete and that many fail to report their 
kills, but it is reasonable to assume that they are as representative as the figures of 
other years. Massachusetts maintains the most liberal open season of any State 
in the Union on this propagated species. There are several considerations back of 
this policy, — the sportsmen have voluntarily agreed to doubling the license fee, 
and in fairness to them every reasonable opportunity should be given to hunt, 
consistent with the maintenance of the species. The pursuit of the pheasant helps 
to relieve the hunting of the native game birds, as has been so frequently pointed 
out. This is very important, for the reason that the stock of pheasants can always 
be replaced, which is not true of the native species. 

Ruffed Grouse. 

In spite of a scarcity of some kinds of the natural food of the grouse they came 
through the winter well, and spring found a substantial breeding stock in the 
covers. Regardless of the excessive wetness of the breeding season there was an 
unusually good production, and later in the season the report was common that 
more young grouse were seen than for several years. In one small section of the 
State there were some reports of damage to fruit trees by reason of spring budding 
by the grouse. Investigation showed it to be confined to a very limited area and 
the amount of actual damage problematical. 

On the opening of the shooting season the country was very dry, presenting the 
usual fall difficulties in grouse hunting; the birds were more widely scattered than 
usual, but, generally speaking, there were more in the covers than noted at any 
time for several years. We seem to be in that portion of the cycle of grouse history 
wherein the supply is gradually approaching the maximum. If it runs true to 
form several years of fair abundance may be expected, then a gradual decrease to 
the point of scarcity. This seems to be a situation over which man has little con- 
trol, and it is well to note that the variations cannot be charged to the hunters, 
because during the past few years, in the face of actually increased pursuit, the 
grouse are steadily gaining. 

Quail. 

In that section comprising Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable and Dukes counties, 
which we have come to regard as the quail range, the quail wintered well, for the 
weather was mild with little snow. The long, wet, cold period in the breeding 
season proved very detrimental to the early broods, and all over the Cape district 
no young were seen in the early summer when they should have appeared ; but late 
in the summer and fall they began to be seen, and in good numbers. Apparently 
the first broods were wiped out and the year's crop was a second hatching. In 
other parts of the State, where quail for years have done little more than maintain 
themselves in small numbers, there are reports of decided improvement, notably 
in southwestern Worcester and Eastern Hampshire counties, and western Norfolk. 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 15 

The closed season which had prevailed for five years in Middlesex, Nantucket, 
Dukes, Essex and Hampden counties expired in 1922, and on our recommenda- 
tion was renewed until the open season of 1925. The increase in most of these 
counties had been slight at the best. Only on Martha's Vineyard were definite 
results observable, illustrative of what may be done by restriction of shooting 
combined with stocking, for there, from great scarcity in 1915, the quail have been 
restored to such numbers as to bring up the question of an open season. It ap- 
peared to be the part of wisdom, however, to give them an additional period of 
protection in which to better establish themselves. 

Beer. 

The deer situation changes but little from year to year. A growing number of 
complaints of dogs chasing deer during the open season led to legislation providing 
that dogs should be kept out of the woods during deer week. Still-hunting is un- 
questionably the proper way to hunt deer in New England, and cannot be properly 
pursued if dogs are present in the covers. If sport in the proper sense of the word is 
to thrive, the devotees of one branch must be willing to conduct their sport with due 
regard to the reasonable rights of those who pursue the other branches. The deer 
season is of six days' duration, during which it is reasonable to ask all other hunters 
to give way to the deer hunters. Hitherto it was common for fox and rabbit hunters 
to permit their dogs at large during deer week. In the North Country a hunting 
dog would not be tolerated during the deer season, and would be shot on sight. 
It is remarkable and a favorable commentary on the forbearance of the deer hunters 
of Massachusetts that they have not long ago taken this matter into their own 
hands. 

In the open season falling within the period of this report (Dec. 5-10, 1921), 
1,132 deer were killed, 577 bucks and 555 does. Hunting conditions were somewhat 
unfavorable, for in Berkshire County the mountains were covered with ice; else- 
where the crust made noisy hunting; and the woods in all sections inland were 
littered with broken trees and fallen branches from the ice storm of a short time 
before, making travel very difficult. 

The number of deer shot while damaging crops was 108; the disbursements by 
the Commonwealth (reimbursements to towns) for damages by wild deer was 
$5,979.16. 

Moose. 

Moose are not numerous enough to present any serious problem. They are 
slightly on the increase, and apparently there is more favorable range for them 
than generally supposed. None were killed during the year, and no claims for 
damage presented. 

Squirrels. 

Opinion is very much divided as to what is happening to the squirrels, positive 
reports of decrease in many sections being offset by just as strong contrary evidence 
in other places. They undoubtedly congregate where food is plentiful, migrating 
when a change is forced by reason of lumbering operations or further destruction 
of chestnut and other food trees. In many parts of the State they are hunted very 
little; in others they are popular sporting animals, — especially with the younger 
generation of gunners. 

Hares and Rabbits. 

The supply of native rabbits is quite generally held to be about as usual, with 
a tendency towards increase. In fact, the bulk of testimony is that they are 
plentiful. 

The northern hare, when liberated in the proper environment, makes very satis- 
factory increase, and several favorable localities have become well stocked through 
our efforts and those of associations, with stock imported from Maine. At first 
all parts of the State shared equally in these distributions, — partly in response to 
the insistent demands of the hunting public. But as the work progressed the 
futility of stocking certain sections became apparent, — primarily those of scanty 



1C FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

snows and where the ground is bare for the most of the winter, such as Cape Cod, 
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. As the hares turn white in winter, they are 
very conspicuous where there is no snow, and the readiness with which they fell 
prey to vermin proved that indeed "Death loves a shining mark." Hares are now 
put only into those sections which furnish the required conditions, — extensive 
growth of laurel, hemlock and cedar, or inaccessible swamps, and plenty of snow 
over a long period of the winter. There are probably but few locations really 
suitable to them east of Worcester County, excepting the swamps around Middle- 
borough and the cedar swamp of Hamilton and Wenham. Hares and rabbits for 
propagation or liberation may now be imported at any time of the year. Previously 
they could be brought in only during the open season. (See also Fish and Game 
Distribution.) 

Fur-bearing Animals. 

The trapping season of the fall of 1921 and spring of 1922 can hardly be called 
more than an average one. Prices are lower, and while some trappers continue to 
operate, in many sections all the trapping is done by juveniles. In some local- 
ities the fur-bearers were cleaned out in the period of high prices and have not 
become re-established. This will undoubtedly be the case in Barnstable County 
under the present intensive trapping. In Berkshire County, where fur is sought 
more systematically and extensively than in the rest of the State, it was a good 
season. 

There are many respects in which the trapping laws of this Commonwealth 
could be revised and brought more in line with existing legislation in other States. 
Without going into details it is sufficient to point out that the fur-bearing animals 
should be considered a State asset. The collective damage is more than offset by 
their economic value plus the annual income from' pelts taken. It should be more 
fully realized that the muskrat, through over-trapping, is so greatly on the decline 
that fear may well be entertained for its survival in certain localities. 

Foxes were reported in the northeastern section as running from normal numbers 
to scarce; in southern Massachusetts, fairly abundant, varying to plentiful. They 
are hunted and trapped to quite an extent. Central Massachusetts reports the 
two extremes of plenty in some localities and trapped out entirely in others. Many 
pages could be written on the pros and cons of protection to the fox. We realize 
that the greatest opposition to such action would come from the poultry growers. 
While admitting some damage is suffered, yet, taking it by and large, these annual 
losses are apt to be over-estimated. Massachusetts is fast becoming a fruit-growing 
State, and in the past few years the common field mice have done great damage 
to fruit trees by girdling. We are also familiar with the damage by the mole. 
When we consider the varied diet of the fox over the twelve months of the year 
there is much to say in favor of his economic value. Fairly kept, the ledger account 
is by no means one-sided. The damage to bird life has often been emphasized, 
yet today we are witnessing the phenomenon of the actual increase of our game, 
song and insectivorous birds despite the presence of the fox. It is significant that 
today 22 States protect the fox in one degree or another. 

The pursuit of the fox is becoming a more wide-spread sport than has been the 
case in a generation. With some reasonable protection to the fox the sport would 
receive such an impetus that the annual kill would supply all the check required. 
If public sentiment has not come to the point of placing the fox in the class with 
other fur-bearers, at least the digging out of fox dens and capture of the young 
should be prohibited. None of these restrictions should be applied to the owner 
of the land, who should have the right at all times to protect his holdings against 
damage. 

Enemies to Game. 
Cats. 

The problem of the semi- wild, abandoned house cat is unchanged. There will be 
little improvement in the situation until the status of such cats as unprotected 
vermin is fixed by legislation, and organized efforts made for their control. More 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 17 

and more the sportsmen are charging themselves with the task of disposing of 
such as they find in the course of their hunting, but the problem is too great to be 
handled in this way. The headlights of automobiles on the country roads at night 
have been helpful in disclosing to the average lay person a situation well known 
to the sportsmen and bird lovers, — that the wild hunting house cat is the greatest 
single menace to the wild life of this State which exists. This fact cannot be too 
strongly emphasized or over-stated, and it is a singular commentary of the state of 
the public mind that this situation is not taken firmly in hand and met. The 
Commonwealth is spending thousands of dollars every year to make the outdoors 
increasingly attractive. Various agencies are taking the people more and more 
afield. Greater emphasis is being placed on the delights of the wild life. And yet 
we are indifferently maintaining, without the least effort at control, the most 
deadly agency of destruction to all these beautiful things. 

Starlings. 

Starlings are increasing enormously and alarmingly, and are becoming a nuisance. 
There is no check on them, for though not protected they are not game, and there 
is no incentive to kill them. 

Hawks, Owls and Other Vermin. 

Concerning hawks and owls there are no exceptional features to report as to their 
relation to game in the past year. Weasels are becoming noticeably numerous, 
and are a more potent factor in the destruction of game than is generally realized. 

Reservations. 
Martha's Vineyard Reservation. 

The month of December, 1921, which opened the Division's year, was favorable 
for the comfort and the food supply of all bird life. Not until the last of the month 
were the ponds frozen completely over, and there was no snow on the ground. 

On January first 43 heath hens were seen in the cornfield to the west of the 
reservation house, — a much smaller number than have been seen in recent years 
at that time of year. This was the largest flock seen at one time during the winter, 
although several small flocks were seen in other parts of the range. 

The winter was mild as a whole, and natural food was as abundant as in the 
average year. But few days were severe enough to cause apprehension concerning 
the food supply for either heath hen or quail. The winter passed in patrol work, 
trapping vermin, hunting hawks, repairing roads and performing the ever-neces- 
sary farm work. On or very near the reservation 19 cats and 16 hawks (together 
with large numbers of rats) were killed. 

Feed for heath hen and stock was grown as in the past. On Feb. 26 was heard 
the first booming of the heath hen. In the usual spring census an extensive survey 
of the range gave 117 individuals by actual count. Since the heath hen has been 
protected in the present manner it has experienced varying fortunes. In 1916 
before the great fire that swept nearly all of its range and materially reduced their 
numbers, the heath hen were estimated at 2.000. Since then they have not in- 
creased to the extent that was to be expected with all the protection and feeding, 
and at the present time it is doubtful if there are more than 500 on the island. 
Only one fire occurred during the year, and this burned but a small portion of the 
area suitable to heath hen. 

Myles Standish State Forest. 

The past year at this reservation may be characterized as successful in regard 
to wild life. Pheasants have increased so that they are seen in all parts of the 
reservation; quail, hitherto scarce, are now quite numerous; grouse about held 
their own; black ducks are coming to the ponds in large numbers; wood ducks 
are more numerous; deer in good numbers. 



18 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The propagation of pheasants was resumed and 50 that were raised were kept 
as the nucleus of a brood stock. An important part of the work on a reservation 
of this character is the control of vermin, to which much time was devoted. The 
forest was patrolled both early and late, and three cases taken to court. 

Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary. 

The year just closed has been an important one for the Sharon Reservation, 
in that a definite, permanent area has now been secured for the protection of wild 
life, by the purchase by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, in January, of one 
of the most important tracts of land within this area. It includes a large house, 
to which headquarters have been transferred. 

The name "Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary" will henceforth refer strictly to the 
land owned by the Society, which at the present time consists of forty-five acres 
of diversified field, forest and meadowland near the summit of Moose Hill. With 
this sanctuary as a nucleus there is now a protected area of nearly 1,000 acres among 
the Sharon hills. Owners in the vicinity gladly permit their property to be posted 
against hunting and trapping. 

Within the new sanctuary grounds is a meadow lot containing a never-failing 
spring and a little stream, with most excellent surroundings for the making of a 
sylvan pond which would be an attractive and well protected home for wild fowl 
and other marsh-loving birds. The wooded hills, brush-covered hills, thick swamps 
and open lots which make up the remainder of the tract form splendid cover for 
the wild life which is abundant all over the new area. Within this restricted area 
103 species of birds have been observed during the past year. 

The breeding season was unusually hard for the nesting birds, for severe and 
prolonged storms raged, following which many dead young and even adults were 
found. In late May two bad forest fires swept the hills, destroying much cover. 
Notwithstanding this there was an abundance of bird life. About 70 species breed 
within the grounds, — several of these, as the white-breasted nuthatch, hairy 
woodpecker and hermit thrush being locally rare in their nesting habits. Feeding 
of the wild birds was kept up continuously throughout the year. The detailed 
biological survey of the area has been continued. Cooperating with the United 
States Biological Survey 239 birds, representing 25 species, were banded. 

Patrol work was maintained throughout the year; a general respect for the 
laws was observed and no arrests found necessary. Visitors come in constantly 
increasing numbers and over 4,000 registered during the year. Headquarters are 
being more and more developed into a compendium of information upon all sub- 
jects pertaining to wild life, as well as a supply house for bird materials and pam- 
phlets regarding educational work along the lines of wild life conservation. 

Reservations under Sections 69-75, Chap. 131, Gen. Laws. 

The Lynnfield-Peabody and the Mansfield-Foxborough reservations were re- 
newed this year for additional periods of 3 and 5 years, respectively. The Taunton 
Reservation and the Bare Hill Reservation, Harvard, expired in October and no 
petitions for renewal were received. 

Under the act above cited the Commonwealth received from Dr. John C. Phillips 
of Wenham the gift of about 200 acres of land in Boxford, surrounding Crooked 
Pond. The general plan is to develop it on the plan now in operation in the State 
forests where suitable parts are reserved as sanctuaries, others laid out as public 
camp sites, and still other portions open to hunting and fishing. The final techni- 
calities for making this reservation and the promulgation of regulations for its use 
have not been completed. 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 19 

INLAND FISHERIES. 

General. 

In the Commonwealth there are upwards of 4,000 miles of unnavigable streams, 
which for a number of years we have been systematically stocking with brook 
trout, together with some brown trout and a few rainbows. All of these fish may 
be artificially propagated, and we are equipped to handle them. In other words, 
the continuance of stream fishing is very largely a question of dollars and cents, 
being a case more or less analogous to that of the pheasants in the covers. The 
weak spot in the plan is the fact that the riparian owners have, practically speaking, 
the control of this water system, with the latent possibility of undoing our efforts 
by excluding the public under a concerted movement. While this is not likely to 
happen in the immediate future, the possibility remains. 

We have upwards of 850 great ponds which under the Constitution are open to 
the public to free boating, fowling and fishing forever. These ponds are primarily 
adapted for such fish as the pickerel, perch, blue gills, horned pout, catfish, large and 
small mouth black bass. For all of these, except the small mouth bass, we must 
rely on the natural production by the stock in the ponds, a comparatively slow proc- 
ess. The shores of the ponds are becoming more rapidly built up with cottages 
and fishing is more intensive. Thus the problems of the future will be those of 
maintaining the fish life in the great ponds, rather than in the streams. Without 
enumerating the methods by which the objective will be attained it is plain that 
for a while, at least, increasing attention needs to be given to ways and means of 
increasing the fish life in the ponds, while keeping the annual plantings of trout 
equal to or somewhat above the present output. 

Brook Trout. 

Speaking for the State as a whole the trout fishing season was poor, opening 
with snow and rain and cold, windy weather. At that time a few good strings were 
taken, but the excessive rainfall following flooded the streams and made them 
inaccessible to fishermen for the greater part of the season. This and the abundance 
of feed prevented large catches. All this worked for the ultimate benefit of the 
sport, however, in giving an additional season for growth and more breeders. 

Brown Trout. 

Brown trout fishing in the Westfield River (selected for development as a brown 
trout stream) was better than at any time in the last six or seven years. Over 
thirty brown trout from 14 to 17 inches long were taken, and the river was un- 
usually full of 8 to 10-inch fish. From Broad Brook, Easthampton, an 8-pound 
brown trout was taken 28 inches long. All of which makes our effort to establish 
this fish seem well worth while. 

Chinook Salmon. 

The propagation of Chinook salmon is suspended pending observation over a 
considerable period of the results of past work. Up to May 7 there are recorded 
about 70 Chinook salmon taken in Long Pond, Plymouth. The majority of them 
weighed 2\ and 3 lbs. with several four and one five-pound salmon. In contrast 
to last year, there were few small ones. 

Cliff Pond, Brewster, yields a few each year. Report reached us of the capture 
of eight from 2 to 3 lbs; 11 from 3 to 4 lbs.; 2 of 4 lbs.; one of 5 lb. 2 oz. 

Despite the usual efforts through newspaper publicity and inquiries among the 
trap fishermen we could learn of no Chinook salmon being taken in the Merrimack 
River as a result of the plants made from 1913 to 1920. 



20 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Pike Perch. 

Pike perch eggs were collected in Vermont, the expense shared by Massachusetts, 
Vermont and the United States government. The flooded conditions of the river, 
high winds and heavy seas made the taking of spawn an arduous task. The pike 
perch is such a desirable fish that we have wished to make it available for our 
fishing constituency. But it has taken hold in only a few waters, and in view of 
the small returns and large expense the wisdom of continuing is open to question. 
Trials have been made of a number of species not native to our waters, with no 
permanent benefit, and it remains to be seen if the pike perch will prove to be 
another instance. We are recommending seasonal restrictions in addition to the 
bag limit now in effect. 

Pickerel. 

While reports of good pickerel fishing are current in certain places, these refer 
to specific bodies of water rather than to the fishing waters of the State in general. 
The localities are many where it is distinctly declining. We can only repeat our 
statement, that there should be some restriction on winter fishing, the legal length 
should be retained at twelve inches, and the sale prohibited. The whole pickerel 
situation is very fully discussed in the 1921 report, since which time nothing has 
transpired to change the conclusions there set forth. 

Bass. 

From time to time reports are received of black bass being taken through the 
ice, despite the current theory that they become dormant in the late fall and do 
not take the bait after the ice has been formed for a period. Definite information 
was solicited through wardens and bass fishermen, and evidence was abundant 
that bass are very commonly taken fishing through the ice. The lengthening of 
the closed season on bass to make it Dec. 1 to June 30 instead of Feb. 1 to June 20 
was a step in the right direction, but the prohibition of sale is still to be secured 
before this popular fish has the protection it requires and deserves. During the 
year a good number of ponds yielded very satisfactory catches, both as to size and 
number. There was very good fishing in the Oxbow at Mount Tom, and the bait 
casters along the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers were enthusiastic over excellent 
catches. 

White Perch. 

The legislature gave a yearly period of protection to the white perch in State- 
stocked waters from March 1 to May 31. There is little new to be said concerning 
this species. Only a few ponds (speaking in State-wide terms) afford really good 
white perch fishing, though the situation is slowly improving. Our best efforts 
serve to stock but a few ponds each year, and from time to time, after a sufficient 
period has elapsed, they begin to yield. Salvage work (omitted last year for lack of 
funds) was resumed. (See Fish and Game Distribution.) 

Smelt. 

In regard to fresh water smelt, the belief has prevailed among the local fishermen 
that the abundance of smelt in Onota Lake, Pittsfield, has ruined the fishing by 
providing too abundant feed, and for a couple of seasons we have tried to reduce 
the numbers by collecting them on the spawning beds and distributing them to 
residents. This year we screened the entrances to the brooks to compel spawning 
along the lake snores where the eggs would be consumed by other fish. Results 
will not be evident before another breeding season. There are only a few ponds 
where smelt are established in numbers, and in practically all such cases local senti- 
ment is similar to that at Pittsfield; but it has been our feeling that the additional 
food supply would be reflected in a better production of larger food fish. 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 21 

The salt water smelt fishing season from June 1, 1921, to March 15, 1922, was 
one of the most unproductive ever known to local fishermen. This was contrary to 
all expectations, for the spring run in 1921 at the Weir River had been large and 
promised a good catch the following year. As a whole the spring run in 1922 was 
much greater than the previous one. The smelt appeared in the falls on March 14 
and the first run began the 23d, but was broken by a heavy snowstorm on the 
30th just as it began to be heavy. The second run from April 10 to May 1 sur- 
passed all records, with the day run nearty equalling the night run, and smelt were 
found in practically all the streams. The deposit of spawn by the first run was very 
good, and as it was not over-abundant, the eggs had a better chance to hatch. 
The water was not excessively high, so there was no great waste of spawn on ground 
above normal water mark, and probably all had hatched before the second run 
began. The deposit from the second run was so heavy, in many places 3 or 4 
inches deep, that doubtless nearly all went to waste. 

Studies were * continued on the ground on various methods of stripping and 
hardening the spawn and determining the suitability of the water for hatching 
purposes. All of this preliminary to the development of a small hatching plant 
when control through lease of the necessary land and water shall have been ac- 
quired, for which negotiations are under way. 

Horned Pout and Catfish. 

The horned pout in our ponds are standing up well under the taxing conditions 
under which they are fished, — there being no size limit and no protection in the 
breeding season. There are still a good many localities where fishing proved ex- 
cellent during the year and good catches made; but the signs of deterioration in 
this fishery, speaking in State-wide terms, are evident in the many reports of fishing 
below normal, or small-sized fish. Advantage is taken of every opportunity to 
secure stock from any source that presents itself, to build up the stocks in the 
State. 

In continuation of the work of establishing food species in such rivers as the 
Merrimack and Connecticut, catfish were obtained from Pennsylvania and Ohio, 
— for details of which see " Fish and Game Distribution." The effort to acclimatize 
these catfish is an experiment, pure and simple, concerning which we make no prom- 
ises. If successful, it will be a great satisfaction; if a failure, it will at least indicate 
that we are studying the problems. The Pennsylvania shipment consisted of the 
white or white-bellied catfish, locally called the " Delaware" or "Schuylkill" cat- 
fish, as on the Potomac it is the "Potomac catfish." It grows to a much larger 
size than our bullhead or horned pout and has white flesh, of finer texture and 
flavor. The fish from Ohio were the channel and silver catfish, the former Ictalurus 
punctatus (Rafinesque) ; the latter so nearly identical with the channel catfish 
(varying apparently only in the markings) as to be almost indistinguishable. 

Blue Gill Sunfish. 

Propagation of the blue gill sunfish was carried on with the stock received from 
Pennsylvania in 1920. The fish have lived two years in the Stockwell Ponds at 
Sutton with a mixed stock of native fish, increasing substantially in numbers. 
A local source of supply was found in King's Pond at Plymouth (where the blue 
gill had become established through the efforts of Dr. F. A. Lucas). An examina- 
tion of the lake showed nests in good numbers, on all shores having suitable depth, 
on all kinds of bottom, ranging from fine sand, where the fibrous roots of the bot- 
tom vegetation made a suitable lining, to coarse gravel worked out until only 
cobbles remained. Very many were made in the sunken drift, especially where 
the needles of the pitch pine had collected in beds. Seining of adults in July was 
hindered by the presence of vegetation and it was difficult to keep the fish alive 
when seined from the deeper and colder parts and brought to the surface. 

It would seem that future salvage work can most profitably be done with the 
adults, which are hardy and stand transportation and can be taken as they hover 



22 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

about the spawning beds. The young are very sensitive to handling or changes of 
water or temperature, and do not survive long after capture, and seining would be 
difficult since they live under cover of the vegetation. (See Fish and Game Dis- 
tribution and Stockwell Ponds.) 

Winter Fishing. 

The ice fishing season of 1921-1922 presented no remarkable features. In 
general it was an average season, running to excellent in spots and poor in others. 
Many ponds are yielding small-sized fish. The need of restriction on ice fishing 
has been thoroughly set forth in other reports. 

Ponds. 

Ponds stocked and closed. 

The following ponds were stocked under Section 28, Chapter 130, General Laws 
and closed to winter fishing by regulations which in all cases expire Nov. 1, 1925: 
Quabbin Lake, Greenwich; Spy Pond, Arlington; Forge Pond, Westford, Littleton 
and Groton; Greenwich Lake, Greenwich; Long Pond, Littleton. The regula- 
tions close the ponds to all fishing except between May 30 and Oct. 31, inclusive, 
of each year, and the tributary streams are closed except between April 15 and 
July 31, inclusive. Fishing is allowed only with a hand line and single hook, or 
with a single hook and line attached to a rod or pole held in the hand. 

Privately-owned Ponds stocked. 

The following privately-owned ponds were stocked with food fish on stipulation 
of the riparian proprietors that they would permit public fishing therein for a 
specified term of years: Eddy Pond, Auburn, owned by American Steel and Wire 
Co. of Worcester, fishing permitted to Oct. 21, 1927; New Pond, Norwood, West- 
wood and Walpole, owned by Winslow Bros. & Smith Co. of Norwood, fishing 
permitted to May 8, 1927; Sargent's Pond, Leicester, owned by Leicester Woolen 
Co. and Worcester Consolidated Street Railway Co., fishing permitted to May 24, 
1923. 

Spawning Areas closed. 

Under Sections 25-27, Chapter 130, General Laws, a portion of Lake Quinsig- 
amond was closed entirely to fishing after Dec. 20, 1921. It is known that the 
spawning fish congregate on certain areas, and that, these locations being known 
to fishermen and the fish being particularly voracious when developing spawn, 
great inroads in the brood stock in the pond result. By permanently closing the 
breeding areas in Lake Quinsigamond an increased annual supply of fish may be 
expected, benefiting all portions of the lake. The closed areas are: 

1. That portion which lies between Stringer Dam, the bridge over South Brook on 
South Quinsigamond Avenue in Shrewsbury and the bridge at Sunderland Road, covering 
an area of about 131 acres. 

2. That portion which lies between the Lincoln Street bridge, the mouth of Poor 
Farm Brook, and the Stone Bridge on Holden Street, at the upper end of the lake, 
covering an area of about 31 \ acres. 

Screens. 

In attempting to establish stocks of fish in ponds it is essential to prevent their 
escape down stream; but, while the Commissioner of Conservation has authority 
to instal screens in ponds, no appropriation is provided. In a number of instances 
fish and game associations have installed screens and paid the costs. This year, 
through the North Worcester County Fish and Game Club of Gardner, a 10x3 ft. 
screen was placed in Daniel's Pond, Gardner, and a 2\ x 8 ft. one at Queen Lake, 
Phillipston. Out of our appropriation for fish and game propagation we reimbursed 
the Westfield Camping Club for the screen installed by them at Big Pond, Otis, 
in 1918. 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 23 



FlSHWAYS. 

For a series of years this Division has been engaged in restoring such streams 
as were capable of maintaining a good alewife fishery, by securing the installation 
of suitable fishways at obstructing dams, thus opening the spawning grounds. 
The program followed in 1922 was to check results in the existing fishways, and 
to arrange for the construction of others where needed. 

Saugus River. 

Plans and specifications were made for the replacement of the destroyed fishway 
at the old Wallace Nutting Company dam on the Saugus River, and for the recon- 
struction of the wooden fishway at the dam of the United States Worsted Company 
at Prankers Pond. 

Taunton, Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers. 

The fishways on these rivers, except at the Easton Investment Company's dam, 
were in operation during the alewife season. The old Nemasket River fishways 
operated as usual, but still require considerable attention as noted in last year's 
report, before they become efficient. 

East Taunton Fishway. — The fishway at East Taunton operated in the usual 
effective manner. The number of alewives that passed through was less than nor- 
mal, corresponding to the remarkably poor fishing season in the Taunton River. 
It will be particularly interesting to note whether there is any increase in the ale- 
wives passing through this fishway in 1924 and 1925 as a result of stocking the head- 
waters of the Taunton River with spawning alewives in 1921 and 1922. 

Jenkins Leatherbpard Company. — The fishway of the Jenkins Leatherboard 
Company at Bridgewater was open during the early part of the season but was not 
functioning on May 20, when the matter was brought to the attention of the com- 
pany. No alewives were observed at the fishway, though yellow perch and shiners 
were found. 

Carver Cotton Gin Company. — The fishway of the Carver Cotton Gin Company 
of East Bridgewater was operating during the year but no alewives were noted. 
Tests were made regarding the flow of water and functioning of the fishway. The 
problem here is the regulation of the water flow, since during the night the water 
level rises at the dam and gradually falls during the day, thus producing a marked 
variation in the flow of water through the fishway. The installation of a simple 
side gate such as is now in successful use at the East Taunton fishway will probably 
prove satisfactory. 

The Stanley Works. — The fishway at the Stanley Works was in operation during 
the season, but no alewives were observed since they must pass through the fishway 
of the Jenkins Leatherboard Company before they reach the Carver Cotton Gin 
Company or the Stanley Works. 

Easton Investment Co. — This fishway is located at the old Ames dam on the 
Town River at West Bridgewater. Since it was not completed until fall it did not 
function during the spring run, but a passageway was maintained through the 
dam to permit the alewives to run up stream to Nippenicket Pond. 

Ipswich River. 

Ipswich Mills. — The Ipswich Mills fishway functioned during the alewife 
season, in spite of the high drop between the lowest compartment and low water 
level (due to the high water in the spring). No alewives were noticed at the 
fishway and therefore no observations as to its efficiency could be made. Owing to 
the marked difference between low water level below the dam and the entrance to 
the fishway it was found necessary to add more compartments and carry the fish- 
way farther down stream. The owners agreed to make the necessary changes, and 
plans and specifications were prepared. 



24 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Xorwood Mills. — Plan? and specifications were submitted early in the year, 
but no action towards construction was taken until Nov. 25, when the representa- 
tives of Mr. Barrett met our engineer in conference. 

WiUowdale Dam. — Plans and specifications for a fish way were submitted to 
Mr. C. E. Rice of Ipswich, with a request that it be completed before the next run 
of ale wives. 

Merrimack River. 

Laurence Fishway. — The fish way at the dam of the Essex Company, Lawrence, 
was kept open from April 1 to June 30 to obtain, as far as possible, records of the 
fish that passed through. Owing to the high water and the swift flow through the 
fishway it was in working condition for only part of this period. A better method 
needs to be worked out for regulating the water flow through the fishway. During 
the times when the correct amount of water was flowing, the results with the run 
of fish were exceptionally good. From April 28 to May 31, shiners, carp and ale- 
wives passed through, with a run of hundreds of alewives from May 26 to 31. 
From June 1 to 18 it was recorded that 1,184 alewives, 9 carp, 353 shiners and 
dace, and 56 miscellaneous species passed through. A heavy flow of water begin- 
ning June 19 prevented fish from working up the fishway the rest of the month. 
The passage of all the common species of fish proves the success of the fishway, 
and the run of alewives. many times that of the previous year, indicate the possi- 
bility of once more developing an alewife fishery in the Merrimack River. 

Lowell Fishway. — The new fishway installed in 1921 at the Pawtucket dam at 
Lowell by the Proprietors of Locks and Canals on Merrimack River was in opera- 
tion for the first time this spring from Apr. 1 to June 30. Records were taken twice 
daily of the fish which were passing through. There were recorded in May 530 
alewives: 2 carp; 1,802 shiners and dace; and suckers daily of which no record 
was kept. From June 1 to 15 there were 227 alewives, 2 carp, 918 shiners and dace, 
suckers daily, and a few eels and pickerel. Xo fish were observed after June 13, 
and from the 21st to the end of the month the water in the fishway was very high. 
Alewives appeared on May 26 in large numbers and ran until June 6. These had 
passed through the Lawrence fishway beginning May 17, an interval not exceeding 
nine days marking their progress up the river. 

Paskamansett River. 

A fishway was installed by Benjamin Cummings, Esq., in the fall at his dam in 
South Dartmouth. 

Barkers River. 

A fishway was installed by F. L. Snow at Pembroke. It connects a five-foot 
canal leading from the pond to the cranberry bogs, with the main stream at a 
considerable lower level, thus eliminating the necessity of a fishway at the dam. 
The fishway consists of a gradually sloping ditch 3 to 3^ ft. wide, about 500 ft. 
long, with at least a ten-foot drop. Every fifteen feet large loose stone baffles 
check the flow of water. The upper end has a sluiceway faced with cement in which 
the flow of water is regulated by a plank. To all appearance this type should prove 
a most practical fishway for the alewives. 

Parker River. 

Surveys were made and plans and specifications prepared for fish ways at the 
dams of the Byfield Woolen Mills and the lowest dam of Mr. Benjamin Pearson. 

Pollution. 

The jurisdiction of the Division extends only to those cases of pollution which 
involve injury to and loss of fish life, irrespective of whether the pollution affects 
the public health. The problem is to prevent good fishing streams from receiving 
additional pollution, and to eliminate it gradually from waters where it is of ma- 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 25 

terial damage to the fisheries. The past year's work has comprised a study of 
the effect of certain trade wastes upon fish, observations as to the effect of oil 
wastes upon water fowl, the survey of one river system as to pollution and the 
investigation of certain complaints of pollution. 

Effect of Trade Wastes on Fish. 

Our studies have been concerned with paper mill and wool scouring wastes, and 
with various acids, alkalies and salts which are the constituents of trade wastes. 
Fish will live in a concentrated suspension of fresh paper pulp but are killed in the 
effluent from settling basins containing decomposing pulp. Sulphite wastes from 
paper mills at a dilution of 1 : 500 kill trout in six hours. Wool scouring wastes kill 
in the same dilution in four to six hours. The mineral acids kill trout in dilutions 
ranging from 80,000 to 640,000. Certain salts, i.e. copper sulphate, are decidedly 
more toxic than the inorganic acids. Fish differ in susceptibility and a chemical 
dilution which kills one species may affect another but slightly. This variation 
in resistance is found not only in divergent species, but also in the same family, 
as, for example, the salmonides. We find the respiratory action of the gill covers 
in fish to be an excellent indicator for recording the effect of certain forms of chem- 
ical pollution. 

Effects of Oil Wastes. 

Aside from the destruction of water fowl and the public nuisance produced on 
bathing and recreation beaches, oil wastes are detrimental to fish and mollusks by 
destroying the young in the floating larval stage, preventing their set, and render- 
ing the adult forms at times unsuitable for food. As to the effect of this oil pollu- 
tion upon fish life there is lack of specific evidence. Fish are injured by chemical 
waste both by its direct action, and indirectly through the changes brought about 
in their environment, affecting spawning grounds, food and migratory habits. 
Our experiments indicate that a mixture of 1 : 1000 of crude petroleum does not 
immediately affect brook trout, which indicates that the oil wastes do not directly 
destroy fish. In our opinion the greatest damage to the fisheries is the effect 
upon the migratory habits of the anadromous and those species frequenting the 
inshore waters. A distasteful environment, such as would result from the oil 
wastes, will cause these fish to seek other waters, either by its direct action, or 
because the smaller fish, their food supply, have been driven away. Exact 
evidence upon this point is difficult and almost impossible to obtain, owing to 
numerous complicating factors. 

Pathological examinations were made on murres, auklets, grebes and ducks 
which were found covered with oil. In spite of the fact that certain ones were so 
completely covered as to make examination impossible, and in others postmortem 
changes rendered examination difficult, enough information was obtained to war- 
rant certain conclusions as to the action of the oil wastes. At autopsy practically 
all the birds showed a similar condition and a composite description of the findings 
may suffice for all specimens. Externally the birds are covered to a greater or less 
extent with a black sticky, tarry oil, apparently a closely related product to crude 
petroleum. The material is encrusted upon legs, feet and wings, and the feathers 
on the under surface of the body are usually completely covered and matted to- 
gether with the oil, while patches of the same material are present on the neck and 
back. As a rule the head and beak are also covered through the attempts of the 
bird to preen itself. The oil not only causes an adhesion of the feathers, but pene- 
trates to the skin at times, causing a slight irritation. It is inevitable that a bird 
thus covered will perish, particularly in severe weather when conditions tax the 
endurance even of birds in good physical condition. Death is brought about by 
(1) inability to navigate normally; (2) inability to obtain food; and (3) inability to 
maintain a normal body temperature. In most of the birds examined, the stom- 
achs were empty and in a few instances there was evidence of beginning starvation. 
The internal organs were unaffected by disease and showed only postmortem 
changes. No evidence of pneumonia was found in any specimen. 



26 FISH AND GAME. ' [Nov. 



Water Pollution Survey. 

A survey of the Aberjona River in regard to the various sources of trade waste 
pollution was completed, in co-operation with the town of Winchester, as a result 
of which the town has formulated a program for the elimination of trade waste 
pollution in this river. Winchester is interested in its purification from the stand- 
point of the public health and recreation, and this Division in the relation of pollu- 
tion to fish life. 

Investigation of Complaints. 

Further investigation was made of the reported pollution in the Middle Branch 
of the Westfield River, where it was found the amount of pollution was too small 
to affect fish life. Investigation was made of the reported pollution of Eel River, 
Plymouth, by the rubber reclaiming factory of the Boston Woven Hose and Rub- 
ber Company at Chiltonville. The wash water from the settling basin is dis- 
charged into the river, without any neutralization. Chemical analysis was made 
by the Department of Public Health of material from the settling basin, and of 
water from the river at various points. The pollution was found to consist almost 
wholly of acid waste, which because of its relatively small amount, was not suffi- 
cient to kill fish. However, changes in the normal reaction of the water may 
have considerable effect in keeping alewives and white perch from entering the 
stream. Since Great South Pond, the original spawning ground for Eel River 
alewives, has been taken as a water supply, Russells Mill Pond is the only suitable 
breeding ground. If the alewives could be induced to use the pond it is possible 
to restore an alewife fishery in Eel River. Thus the effect of even a small amount 
of acid entering the river would prove detrimental. It was pointed out to the 
Company that the difficulty could be readily remedied by supplementing the 
settling treatment by passing the effluent through lime filters. 

On the assertion of the New York City Board of Health that clams from Barn- 
stable Harbor were unfit for food, clams from the locality were examined by this 
Division, of which one lot gave a lactose fermenting bacillus resembling B. coli. 
The waters 1 of Barnstable Harbor are singularly free from pollution, and at the 
request of the boards of Health for Cape Cod the Massachusetts Department of 
Public Health made an investigation, as a result of which no evidence was found 
of any source of pollution near the flats, and analyses of the clams and samples 
of water showed no bacteria characteristic of sewage. The report of the Massa- 
chusetts Department of Public Health was accepted by the Bureau of Food and 
Drugs of the Department of Health of New York City, and the sale of Barnstable 
clams was permitted. 

In addition to those previously mentioned, routine complaints of pollution have 
been investigated b}' the district wardens. 

PROPAGATION OF FISH AND GAME. 

The propagation work includes not only the now well-known hatchery work, 
but the less familiar but important and growing field work, or acquisition of stock 
in other ways than by artificial propagation. It includes the collection of fish 
from over-stocked ponds ; from water supplies that are closed to fishing, — a field 
just opening up; exchange with other commissions; purchase from commercial 
dealers or other sources. Another plan promising substantial yet inexpensive 
production is the holding of brood stock of such species as horned pout, pickerel 
and blue gill, in suitable ponds. After the initial work of cleaning them, in- 
stalling dams for control of the water, and introducing brood stock, the only 
cost will be for the collection and distribution of the natural increase. Two units 
have already been acquired, more fully described under "Field Propagation." 

The history of our propagation work represents a gradual development and 
much experiment. Present efforts are to continue those lines which have stood 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 27 

the test of time and proved their worth, not aiming at further extensive expansion, 
but rather a concentration on the production, with the present facilities, of larger 
amounts of stock at a lower cost per bird or fish. 

• Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms. 

Palmer Fish Hatchery. 

No construction work was done to increase the output of bass, but a small 
amount for the newer brook trout work was necessary. 

Pike Perch. — The 7,350,000 eggs collected in Vermont were hatched, producing 
7,175,000 fry. 

Small-mouth Black Bass. ■ — The propagation of small-mouth bass was carried 
on in the usual way, and the hatching season very successful. But owing to weather 
conditions there was not the quantity of insect life in the ponds that was present 
last year; hence there were fewer fingerlings for distribution than had been ex- 
pected. The output was 149,000 fry, 16,025 fingerlings, and 16 adults to fairs. 

Large-mouth Black Bass. — From a small natural pond on the grounds there 
were seined and distributed 10,725 fingerlings and 60 yearlings. 

Pickerel. — There were collected from one of the hatchery ponds and distributed 
243 pickerel fingerlings. 

Brook Trout. — The brook trout eggs handled consisted of 200,000 from the 
Sandwich Hatchery and 200,000 from a commercial dealer, and hatched with 
about a 13% loss. The young fish grew very rapidly after being placed in the 
rearing pools, so that by June 1 it was necessary to thin out some pools by ship- 
ments of 25,000 to Amherst, 25,000 to Montague and 39,000 to Sutton for rear- 
ing. There were distributed to public waters 117,875 fingerlings (1| to 6 inches) 
and 15 adults, with 40 adults sent to exhibitions. 

Brown Trout. — 100,000 brown trout eggs purchased from a dealer arrived in 
good condition and hatched with a very small loss. The fry were hardy and 
started to feed while in the hatching troughs, but after being placed in the pools 
refused to take food and most of them were lost. This is the first season at this 
station in the hatching of brown trout. 3,500 were reared for brood stock and 
1,330 fingerlings and 18 yearlings distributed. There were 747 yearlings received 
from the Sutton hatchery which were held for brood stock. 

Horned Pout. — Insufficient pond room prevented horned pout work. A few 
adult pout placed experimentally in the shiner pond produced 6,240 fingerlings 
which were distributed, together with 25 adults. Palmer was the receiving and 
distributing station for the pout fingerlings purchased and those from Vermont. 
(See "Fish and Game Distribution.") 

Blue Gill. — As an experiment three two-year old blue gills were held to observe 
growth rates. Confined in a small pond they average one-half pound at three 
years. This season they bred, producing several thousand young, held for future 
disposition. 

Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 

Rearing facilities were extended by a moderate amount of remodeling of old 
and construction of new ponds and pools, and screening against depredations of 
predatory birds. 

During the fall of 1921 there were collected for the year's work, 1,566,000 eggs. 
Of these 200,000 were shipped (eyed) to Palmer Hatchery, 100,000 (ej-ed) to the 
Sutton Hatchery, and 250,000 planted in public waters. They were replaced by 
300,000 purchased from commercial dealers. 

There were some losses in the spring among the late-hatched fry from fungus, 
but the trouble was overcome by means of muck baths. There was a reappear- 
ance of the fish disease (Furunculosis) in the old wooden pools at East Sandwich 
(in which perfect sterilization had been difficult in the previous outbreaks). Prompt 
isolation and sterilization of the infected pools, and avoidance of crowding the 
stock, kept the disease in control with no material loss. 



28 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



The year's product was assigned as follows: 

Amherst Rearing Station (Advanced fry) 
Montague Rearing Station (Advanced fry) . 
Worcester Fish and Game Association (No. 1 fingerlings) 
Canton Fish and Game Association (No. 1 fingerlings) 
Public waters (No. 3 fingerlings) .... 

Retained for brood stock (No. 5 fingerlings) 



470,000 
30,000 
60,000 
25,000 

290,050 
12,000 



A large percentage of the fish distributed in public waters ran from 4 to 5 inches, 
the largest ever distributed from these hatcheries. 

In the course of the year 3,180 adults from the brood stock were distributed. 

Sutton Hatchery. 

The work program for the year was largely connected with the development of 
the Stockwell Ponds. At the hatchery proper the old hatchery building was demol- 
ished and a pond constructed on its site, and another pond partly excavated in the 
low area on the east side of the grounds. 

Brook Trout. — The egg supply shipped in was for egg-planting, for hatching at 
Sutton, and for about one-half of the Montague supply, to be re-shipped for late 
hatching. It comprised 100,000 from Sandwich Hatcheries, 1,050,000 purchased 
and 50,000 collected at Sutton. With the exception of a portion of the Montague 
supply the eggs were of low grade and produced only devitalized fry that yielded 
not over 20% of the normal fingerling output, and the number available at other 
stations for transfer to make up the deficiency (39,000 received from Palmer) 
eould bring the Sutton Hatchery output up to 30% only. There were 110,000 
eyed eggs planted, and 77,900 fingerlings distributed to public waters. 

Brown Trout. — The brown trout work at Sutton was closed up, and the stock 
disposed of by distribution of 620 yearlings and transfer of 747 yearlings to the 
Palmer Hatchery where brown trout work will be concentrated in future. 

Homed Pout. — Experimental work was carried on in the rearing of horned 
pout fry caught when schooling after leaving the nests, taken in course of salvage 
work at North Watuppa Lake. They readily adapted themselves to domestica- 
tion and grew fast on the chopped liver fed to them. They were transferred as 
fingerlings to Stockwell Ponds for further growth. This opens up interesting possi- 
bilities in connection with a pond system where the breeding might be in excess of 
the capacity for growth, for this experiment has demonstrated that the surplus 
could be removed and reared in nursery ponds. 

Stockwell Ponds. — Work at the Stockwell Ponds, though treated under " Field 
Propagation," is nevertheless done by the Sutton Hatchery crew and may prop- 
erly be credited as a portion of their accomplishments. 



Montague Rearing Station. 

The development and construction work was started as soon as the 1921 stock 
was out, and continued through the winter of 1921-1922 and well into the rearing 
season. Much control work was built to handle the water flow, permanent con- 
struction substituted for make-shift work necessarily done in the beginning, a 
large amount of additional rearing capacity provided, and much grading and 
clearing done. Near the close of the year the hatchery building was enlarged and 
its capacity doubled, and a building constructed to provide ice house, refrigerator, 
meat room, work shop and can storage. Telephone line was built to the camp. 

From the yearling stock of brook trout held experimentally to determine egg 
quality 35,000 eggs were collected and the product carried through all stages to 
good-sized fingerlings with no difficulty. To this stock of eggs were added 780,000 
shipped in (330,000 from Sutton and 450,000 from dealers), and later 150,000 fry 
(30,000 from Sandwich and 120,000 from Sutton). This stock proving insufficient 
owing to a considerable proportion of poor eggs and fry, 25,000 small fingerlings 
were received from Palmer to partly make up the deficiency. The unfavorable 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 29 

results from some of the stock was due both to its poor quality and the necessity of 
using it last, when only the most difficult pools remained to be stocked. This 
condition has been partly remedied by increasing the capacity to carry early fry 
until the proper time to thin it out for stocking the late pools. There were dis- 
tributed to public waters 117,000 eggs planted in brooks; 625 adults; and 372,450 
fingerlings, the balance of about 10,000 reserved for further rearing. 

Amherst Rearing Station. 

The extensive pond construction program for developing the rearing capacity 
started last year, was continued, and a program started for minimizing the danger 
from surface water floods. Telephone connection was established with the South 
Deerfield exchange. 

The station was put in condition to receive stock by the middle of March, and 
470,000 brook trout fry were received from the Sandwich Hatcheries. As the 
product of this did not fully stock the station the deficiency was partly made up 
by the receipt in July of 25,000 fingerlings from Palmer. The fry received varied 
very widely in quality, and ranged from excellent, yielding 75% fingerlings, to 
very poor, suffering a loss of 75% immediately after arrival. The poor fry were in 
such proportion that, although the number received was much in excess of the 
capacity of the station, the losses made a deficiency through the whole rearing 
season. The output, however, was increased over last year through the added 
capacity secured by recent construction work. Distributions consisted of 257,500 
fingerlings. 

Marsh field Bird Farm. 

A complete new brood system was installed in the small brooder house for the 
better handling of the stock, and various re-arrangements made for greater effi- 
ciency and convenience in working. The fifty acres of leased land on which the 
work has been carried on, was purchased. 

Before the breeding season 162 adults were distributed. Eggs to the number of 
16,215 were collected from a brood stock of 455 pheasants. There were 2,728 dis- 
tributed, and 13,200 set in incubators. Of these 8,253 hatched, from which 3,528 
were reared to distribution age and liberated. There were 216 set aside for brood 
stock and later disposition. The method of distributing by truck-loads instead of 
by many small express shipments (see "Fish and Game Distribution") relieved 
the station of much labor. 

Sandwich Bird Farm. 

After a careful consideration of the relative values of the experimental work 
hitherto conducted at this station and the production of pheasants in quantities, 
it was decided to make pheasant breeding by the incubator-brooder method the 
main object, and the necessary houses, pens and yards constructed in 1921 and 
1922. 

Pheasants. — The result of the year's work was more in the line of experience 
gained than in actual production. While the hatching by incubator was excellent, 
lack of knowledge of feeding and care of the incubator-hatched birds during the 
first few weeks of their life resulted in extensive losses. By the time this knowledge 
was acquired the laying season and opportunity to put the knowledge into practice, 
was past. From the brood stock of 177 pheasants 5,943 eggs were collected and 
200 were purchased. They were set in incubators and some under hens. 4,300 
were hatched, 430 raised to distribution age, of which 202 were distributed, 30 
late-hatched ones held over, and the remainder added to the brood stock. 

Wood Ducks. — The work was continued, but with a reduced stock. Wood ducks 
are substantially increasing throughout a large portion of the country and to some 
extent in Massachusetts, though the time will be long before opening of the season 
here will be warranted. A great interest is shown in the wood duck by bird lovers, 
and for applicants who are willing to make a special effort to locate a shipment on 
a favorable area and give it special protection, a limited number will be bred at 



30 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

Sandwich where a small portion of the farm is specially well adapted to the work. 
The stock numbered 37 at the beginning of the breeding season. 190 eggs were 
collected of which 12 were distributed and 178 set under bantams. There were 
137 hatched and 122 were raised to maturity, to which were added 10 young re- 
ceived from the Carver Reservation. There were distributed 110, and the re- 
mainder added to the brood stock. 

Quail. — Only a few pairs of quail were kept to experiment with, but weasels 
reduced them to 3£ pairs. There were 39 birds raised and held for next year's 
work. We do not admit defeat in quail rearing, but have considered it advisable 
to reduce the work to experimental proportions and devote most of the effort to 
pheasant production. In quail work our aim has been, not merely to produce 
birds for liberation, but to successfully establish a brood stock of quail, hatched 
and reared in confinement, which will not only produce eggs satisfactorily but also 
hatch strong offspring that will thrive. We have yet to discover why it has 
proved impossible to keep quail over several generations in confinement. It is 
this which has been the unsolvable problem, and it is this on which we are 
experimenting. 

Wilbraham Game Farm. 

At the beginning of the year work was undertaken to remedy deficiencies of 
equipment, resulting in greatly increased rearing facilities. The benefit of this 
was reflected in the season's production, which was not only larger but also a 
larger percentage of the hatch was reared to liberation age. All hatching was 
done by incubators. 

The 498 adult pheasants at the beginning of the laying season produced 18,223 
eggs, of which 13,192 were set in incubators and 4,935 distributed. 6,776 hatched, 
of which 3,007 were distributed, 32 held for later distribution, and 301 retained for 
brood stock. 136 adults were liberated, and 38 more set apart for later distribu- 
tion. The 100 Chinese pheasant eggs bought to change the blood lines proved 81 
infertile, and only 8 hatched. 

The system of distribution by truck was inaugurated with most satisfactory 
results. 

Field Propagation. 

Shaker Mill Pond and the three Stock well ponds, held under lease, are in process 
of development for pond culture of food species. 

Stockwell Ponds. 

At the close of 1921 work of repairing the old dams built years ago for power 
and cranberry flowage, was under way and fairly well advanced except at the 
Arnold dam which flows the upper pond. Work on the latter started the beginning 
of the year and continued until stopped by hard freezing. Thereafter attention 
was turned to clearing off the ponds (grown up to brush) continuing through the 
winter and spring, and the shore line cleared of brush for raising the water. To 
properly clear the ponds will require another winter's work, but on a smaller scale. 
Further work can continue from now on, along with use of the ponds as they now 
stand. They have been flowed long enough to kill the upland vegetation, all 
elements possibly harmful to fish life have been leached from the soil, and the 
forms of water life suitable for fish food have been multiplied in great numbers. 
The ponds contain the blue gills from Pennsylvania placed therein in 1920, together 
with their progeny of two years, which have been seen in good numbers. 4,000 were 
removed in the course of the work and distributed locally. The ponds received 
the first stocking with breeding horned pout (salvaged stock) this year, comprising 
525 medium sized adults from Ashbumham, and 900 of larger size from Watuppa 
Lake, Fall River, and 22,000 fingerlings reared at Sutton (seined as fry from 
Watuppa Lake). 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 31 



Shaker Mill Pond. 

Though permission from the owners for the use of this pond had been granted, 
lack of funds had prevented its development for our use. As the name implies, 
this was formerly a mill pond. The dam, sluices, gates and other remaining works, 
still in fairly good condition, were repaired and remodelled and retaining pound 
and holding car added. There was added to the stock already in the pond 80 large 
horned pout from Hubbardston, with 50 from local sources, and 25 blue gills sal- 
vaged in Tewksbury. The horned pout appear to have bred well, for small ones 
by the hundred were visible about the shores in late summer. No distributions 
were made. 

Game Breeding by Private Enterprise. 

Summary of the reports of licensed game breeders show for 1921 : reports filed, 
283; number of birds or animals hatched, 5,560; number reared, 3,453 (886 pheas- 
ants, 2,015 ducks, 505 geese, 11 quail, 34 skunks, 2 fox); number on hand at end of 
the year, 4,423; number sold, exchanged or given away for food, 439, and for propa- 
gation, 864; eggs sold, exchanged or given away, 1,187. 

Figures for 1922 are not yet compiled. 

FISH AND GAME DISTRIBUTION. 

Fish Distribution. 

There were no radical changes in fish distribution methods. 

Distributions are shown in the tables at the end of this section to which reference 
is made to supplement the following reports on the species put out. No figures 
are given below which may readily be found in the tables. 

Brook Trout. 

Eyed trout egg planting was continued for the third season. Periodical visits 
were made to inspect the results, and in general satisfactory results noted. 

A large portion of the fingerlings were distributed by truck, and many associa- 
tions and individuals called at the stations for their allotments. By this practice 
the State is saved considerable expense; the fish reach the waters in stronger con- 
dition; and the labor at the stations is reduced. 

While the majority of applicants express satisfaction with the quantities of fish 
sent them, there are always a certain number who indicate their displeasure at 
the size of allotments. It may be enlightening to compare ''the good old days" 
of about 1893 with the present. When the little fry station at Winchester served 
the entire State, the process of securing an allotment for Berkshire county, for 
instance, was about as follows: on notification that the fish were ready, a collec- 
tion would be taken among the sportsmen to defray the expense of a trip to Win- 
chester. The chosen messenger left the day before, spent a night in Boston, and 
returned next day with one, or occasionally two small cans of fry. This style of 
can held not more than 600 tiny fish, and had in the top an inverted, bell-shaped 
arrangement into which a small piece of ice was placed to keep the water at an 
even temperature in transit. The only way of aerating the water was to dip it out 
with a teacup and let it run back into the can. Reaching North Adams in the 
afternoon the fish were viewed by assembled sportsmen, then loaded into a team 
and taken around to the various brooks, into each of which would be tenderly placed 
a few of the tiny fish, — often to be washed away in the first hard rain. " Today 
five stations supply the State, so located that long-distance shipments are a thing 
of the past. The fish (averaging 2 to 6 inches) now travel in 40-quart cans and in 
charge of a trained messenger, supplied with aeration pump, thermometer and 
plenty of ice. Under present methods few fish are lost, for they are in the brooks 
within a few hours after leaving the hatchery. 



32 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Pike Perch or Wall-eyed Pike. 

The pike perch egg collections in Vermont (costing $663) yielded as Massachu- 
setts' share 7,350,000, which were shipped to Palmer Hatchery for hatching, and 
thence distributed. 

Small-mouthed Black Bass. 

Stock collected by the seining crew, together with the Palmer Hatchery product, 
comprised the stock for planting. 

Horned Pout and Catfish. 

Through the courtesy of the Vermont Fish and Game Commission we received 
30,000 horned pout fry, and from a private pond in Massachusetts purchased 
87,000 horned pout fingerlings. The full number of fry were distributed, and 
75,033 fingerlings (balance held for spring). The Pennsylvania Department of 
Fisheries contributed 2,680 catfish which were planted in the Merrimack and 
Connecticut Rivers. From the commercial fishermen of Lake Erie we purchased 
a carload of 12,263 silver and channel catfish ranging from 6 inches to nearly 
2 feet. They came in one of the seven specially patented fish cars of the Liebner 
Live Fish Companj^ of New York City, one of the officials accompanying and 
caring for the fish. The Ohio Fish and Game Division made the local arrangements. 
The car was unloaded at Springfield, Mass., and distributions made to the Connect- 
icut, Merrimack, Chicopee, Manhan, Quaboag and Agawam rivers; and to 
Crane's Lower Pond, Southwick; Watershops Pond, Springfield; Five Mile Pond, 
Springfield; Nine Mile Pond, Wilbraham; and Congamond Lakes, Southwick. 
In the absence of any authority on the part of the Division to make regulations 
to protect introduced species we are obliged to rely on the honor of the fishing 
public to put back any of this stock caught in fishing. It is to their interest to do 
so, for it is introduced primarily as brood fish to produce a supply for future 
capture. Mixed in with the catfish were 1,085 adult horned pout, 400 of which 
were distributed and 685 sent to Palmer Hatchery. 

This, together with the Palmer product, and a few salvaged horned pout, consti- 
tuted the supply for planting. 

Brown Trout. 

The year's product from Palmer and Sutton was divided between the Quaboag 
River, Konkapot River, Miller's River, and Middle Branch of the Westfield River, 
following the plan on which brown trout fisheries are being developed in certain 
selected waters. 

Blue Gill. 

Stockwell Ponds, Sutton Hatchery and Kings Pond, Plymouth were the sources 
of the blue gill distributions. 

Alewife. 

The following plantings of adult alewives were made during the spring run in 
continuation of the effort to re-establish formerly good, but now depleted, fisheries: 
Monponsett Ponds, Halifax, 1,548; Robbins Pond, East Bridgewater, 484; Nip- 
penicket Lake, Bridgewater, 724. 

Smelt. 

The only distribution was 3,000,000 fry, the product of experimental work at, 
Weir River, Hingham, into which waters they were allowed to pass. 

White Perch. 

The seining and re-distribution of white perch was resumed (omitted last year 
from lack of funds). See "Fish Salvage" following. 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 33 



Fish Salvage. 

This year the two-ton Stewart truck long needed for the salvage work was pur- 
chased, which, with the equipment already owned, gives us the long-planned-for 
salvage unit. With this easy means of transportation of equipment and crew at 
hand, the extension of the salvage work will naturally follow. 

Salvaging of white perch started at Tashmoo Pond, Vineyard Haven, on March 
28, with a crew of four men, three from our own department and one from the 
New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission whose services were given in exchange 
for a share in the catch. Shipping started April 3. Fish have been taken from this 
pond for four years past, and the supply had become reduced and difficult to take 
in numbers. On May 2 operations were transferred to Squibnocket Pond. Fyke 
traps were employed as usual, but for some unaccountable reason did not fish well, 
making it necessary to catch eighty per cent of the fish fby sweep seine, — very 
strenuous work in a pond where the grass and culch grow thick. Ofttimes upwards 
of a ton of this culch would be hauled in a sweep, requiring the crew to work for 
hours in the cold water, separating and sorting the fish from it. The adverse con- 
ditions made it necessary to work sixteen hours each day to keep up the supply for 
shipments. The work was closed May 24. Distributions of white perch were 
75,200 (with 13,200 shipped in addition to New Hampshire). 

On June 10 operations were started at North Watuppa Lake, Fall River, and 
continued until the 24th with three men. This is a water supply of Fall River, 
closed to public fishing. The rough character of the bottom makes seining im- 
possible, and the adult fish are taken with hook and line. The tiny fry are 
collected with dip nets. The work resulted in 70,500 small mouth bass fry (dis- 
tributed). 45 adult small mouth bass (distributed), 22,000 horned pout fry (sent to 
Sutton Hatchery for rearing), and 23,000 yellow perch fingerlings (distributed). 
The high water from spring rains made conditions very unfavorable for taking fry. 

July 17-18 King's Pond, Plymouth, was seined for blue gills, and 1,400 secured 
and distributed. 

Sept. 11 to 23 North Watuppa Lake was fished again, resulting in 900 horned 
pout breeders (shipped to Sutton Hatchery and later transferred to Stockwell 
Ponds as brood stock); 50 adult small mouth bass (shipped to Palmer Hatchery 
as breeders), and 140 adult small mouth bass (distributed). 

Throughout the season small salvage jobs by wardens yielded various small lots 
of adult fish. 

Seining investigations were carried on to locate sources of fish for future work. 

Game Distribution. 

The past year has brought about something of a revolution in methods of allot- 
ting and distributing game. The folly of liberating stock in covers unsuited for it 
is obvious, but has occurred to some extent through absence of proper informa- 
tion and the demands of the public. A survey was made of the actual square 
mileage of suitable pheasant cover and chartered on maps, and allotments to each 
county were based on the proportion of suitable pheasant cover therein to the total 
amount to be liberated. Distribution work in future will be more and more along 
these lines. 

Truck delivery of the product of the bird farms proved a tremendous advance 
over the old method of shipment by rail. The truck was run on a regular schedule, 
applicants having been notified when and where to meet it, and thus 500 or 600 
birds could be delivered in a day. At the game farms the new method cleared the 
brooders and yards quickly, making room for the new hatches as they came along 
in rapid succession, and eliminated losses from crowded conditions; it relieved the 
superintendents of much labor and clerical work in connection with the shipping, 
at the season when the volume of actual rearing work is at its peak; the birds 
went into the covers in much better condition only a few hours after leaving the 
game farm and without being weakened by the long trip in a hot and airless 



34 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



There were 48 young quail purchased and liberated. 

The usual purchases of northern white hares in Maine were made to the number 
of 1,110. A survey of white hare cover was prepared, and future distributions will 
be made on the plan of apportionment followed for pheasants. 

Fish Distribution, 1922. 



Species and Size. 



Product of 

State 
Hatcheries. 



Secured from 
Other Sources, 
as Seining, 
by Gift, Pur- 
chase, etc. 



Totals. 



Brook Trout: 

Eggs 1 . 

Fingerlings . 

Adults and yearlings 
Brown Trout: 

Fingerlings . 

Yearlings 
Small-mouth Black Bass: 

Fry 

Fingerlings . 

Adults 
Large-mouth Black Bass: 

Fingerlings . 

Yearlings 
Catfish: 

Adult . 
Horned Pout: 

Fry 

Fingerlings 

Adult . ' . 
White Perch: 

Adult . 
Yellow Perch: 

Fingerlings . 
Pike Perch: 

Fry 
Blue Gills: 

Fingerlings . 

Adult . 
Pickerel: 

Fingerlings . 

Adult . 
Alewives: 

Adult . 
Smelt: 

Fry . . . 

Totals 



,200,775 
3,860 

1,330 
638 

149,000 

16,025 

16 

10,725 



6,240 
25 



7,175,000 



243 



150 

70,500 

1,410 

34 

14,943 

30,000 

75,033 

976 

75,200 

23,000 



5,400 
25 



33 
175 



2,756 
3,000,000 



1,200,775 
4,010 

1,330 
638 

219,500 

16,025 

1,426 

10,759 



14,943 

30,000 

81,273 

1,001 

75,200 

23,000 

7,175,000 

5,400 
25 

276 
175 

2,756 

3,000,000 



,563,937 



3,299,635 



11,863,572 



477,000 eyed eggs were planted in brooks to hatch naturally. 
Game Distributions, 1922. 





Product of 


Secured from 




Species axd Size. 


State 


Other Sources, 


Totals. 




Hatcheries. 


Purchase, etc. 




Pheasants: 








Eggs 1 


-i 


- 


-i 


Young 


6,737 


- 


6,737 


Adult 


298 


- 


298 


Wood Ducks: 








Eggs* 


-2 


- 


_2 


"i oung 


110 


- 


110 


Adult 


1 


- 


1 


Quail: 








Young 


- 


48 


48 


Mallard Ducks: 








Adult . 


- 


17 


17 


White Hares: 








Adults 


- 


1,110 


1,110 


Totals 


7,146 


1,175 


8,321 



7,663 pheasant eggs were distributed from the State Game Farms. 
12 wood duck eggs were distributed from the State Game Farms. 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 35 



MARINE FISHERIES. 

Inspection of Fish. 

By certain amendments to the fish inspection law, recommended by the In- 
spector of Fish last year, he and his deputies are now empowered to enter any 
places where fish is stored and sold and to destroy such fish as is unfit for food. The 
sale of fresh fish by grades, and the selling of fresh and frozen fish only under truth- 
ful names and grades, is made mandatory, and number three fish may be sold only 
at wholesale, and then only for splitting, salting and otherwise preserving. In the 
seizure and condemnation of fish found unfit for food the Inspector and his deputies 
are given wide authority and these changes have gone far to increase the effective- 
ness of the work. 

Two permanent deputies comprise the inspecting force, Mr. Fred R. Niven being 
added to the staff April 1, 1922. 

Work of the Deputies. 

A plan of State-wide fish inspection was carried out, by which every store, as 
far as known, selling, handling or storing fresh or frozen fish, received at least two 
visits. The wholesale fish establishments at the Boston Fish Pier and on Atlantic 
Avenue received weekly and in some periods daily attention. The carts of the 
150 fish peddlers who purchase their fish at the Pier on Thursdays were carefully 
inspected weekly, as well as the fish they bought for house to house sale. 

Another feature was the inspection of fresh mackerel, halibut and swordfish 
brought from Nova Scotia by the steamers from Yarmouth, and of fares from 
Nova Scotia landed by both Nova Scotian and Massachusetts crafts. The need 
of such inspection is shown in that some 2,087 pounds of fish were condemned and 
destroyed, while many thousands of pounds were passed as " second grade fish." 

The weekly inspections of the out-door markets on Blackstone Street were 
continued ; very frequent inspections were made of fish stores in Boston and some 
cities; all the public cold storage plants received attention from time to time; and 
certain extra inspections were made on the request of health boards. As a result of 
more frequent inspections than last year it was possible to note a gradual and 
continued improvement in the grading of fish foods offered the public. 

Inspection at Producing Points. 

The Inspector of Fish personally inspected fisheries conditions at Boston, 
Gloucester, New Bedford, Nantucket and Cape Cod, besides making visits to 
retail markets in several large cities in order to keep in touch with the general 
situation and form an opinion as to the results of the work. At Nantucket a care- 
ful studj 7 was made of the flounder fishery, which has attained large proportions. 

Splitting Fish Offers a Problem. 

From May 1 to October 1 the Inspector of Fish on request of the dealers, spent 
on an average of two or three days a week at Gloucester, where during that period 
over 25 millions of pounds of fresh cod and haddock were landed for splitting and 
salting. Here the wholesale curers and shippers of salt fish have continued their 
efforts to improve the quality of fish landed. 

Fish condemned. 

An event with a direct bearing on the inspection of fish fares for splitting 
purposes was the action of the State Inspector of Fish in stopping the landing at 
Gloucester of a very large fare of fresh fish which he decided under the statutes 
was not "fish suitable only for splitting and salting or otherwise preserving." 
This lot, estimated at 225,000 pounds, was the first large amount barred from 



36 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

food consumption under the fish inspection law and possibly the first fresh fish 
fare condemned in this State. The steam otter trawler Sheldrake of Rockland, 
Me., arrived June 10 from a fresh fishing trip, with a fare estimated at between 
325,000 and 350,000 pounds. The Sheldrake left Rockland Wednesday, May 31 
with only 35 tons of ice, secured her fare on Western Bank and began discharging 
on Monday, June 12. As the inspector was obliged to be at the State House on 
that date he did not see the discharge of the first of the fare, but on visiting the 
craft early Tuesday morning noted that the fish were "coming out soft", although 
apparently sweet. Lack of sufficient icing was very apparent, however. As the 
discharge of the fare continued the condition of the fish approached the "border 
line". Other pens were then broken down, but instead of disclosing better fish, 
the quality was worse, indeed the "unsuitable" stage was clearly reached. The 
odor was noticeably bad and ice was lacking. Fish broken open and stripped were 
sour and unfit for food in any form. 

The Inspector then ordered further landing of the fish for food to cease. Sub- 
sequently, owners refused to accept the fare after condemnation in Massachusetts 
and it was dumped at sea. The action of the Inspector was endorsed by the large 
concern which had bought the trip and after discharging was stopped, even the 
agent of the craft admitted that the fare was in "bad order". This action had a 
materially good effect on the conditions of fresh fish fares landed for splitting dur- 
ing the summer season. 

As a result of the year's fish inspection work practically 282,000 pounds of fish 
intended for food were condemned. In cases where it was felt that the gravity of 
the offense warranted, the offenders were made defendants in court cases. Had 
every case been prosecuted, the time lost in court attendance would have materially 
handicapped the work of inspection. In several instances city and town Boards of 
Health asked and received our deputies' assistance in inspections of their markets 
and court work. In many cases the services of the deputies were asked for by the 
dealers themselves. 

Decision on "Jellied" Swordfish. 

For some time past differences of opinion have been expressed as to the fitness 
of "jellied" swordfish for food. In all cases which have come to the attention of 
the Inspector of Fish or his deputies they have immediately condemned the whole 
fish. In order to test the strength of their position the Inspector of Fish on Sep- 
tember 12 had Dr. David L. Belding, Biologist of the Division, together with a 
deputy fish inspector, visit the Boston Fish Pier where two samples of jellied fish 
were taken. Dr. Belding recommends in his report, as the result of his findings, 
that any swordfish showing the slightest evidence of honeycombed muscle should 
be condemned as food since muscle necrosis and degeneration are well under way 
when this appearance is noticeable. The apparently solid flesh in other parts of 
a "jellied" fish should not be sold for food since in all probability degeneration, 
undetected by the naked eye, has already begun. 

The Deep Sea Fisheries. 

The marine fisheries story of Massachusetts for 1922 is far more pleasing to relate 
and much more encouraging to hear than that recounted for the willing-to-be-for- 
gotten previous year. Generally speaking, the fisheries industry of the State for 
the past year has shown an increase in catch in several lines, an increased volume 
and quickening of trade and correspondingly better financial returns. True in 
some branches the operators considered themselves lucky to break a little better 
than even, but when compared with the dismal story of 1921 the upward trend is 
surely not only noticeable but in a measure substantial. Taken as a whole, fish 
from the vessels have sold at slightly lower average prices than the previous year, 
while the landings have been in good volume. There has been evidenced on the 
part of producer and shipper alike a strong endeavor to improve the quality stand- 
ard and greater attention paid to marketing fish in better condition. 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 37 



Fresh Fishing or Haddock Fleet. 

The winter operations of the haddocking fleet were marked by unusually bad 
weather at sea, which made for a short catch and generally good prices. Plenty of 
fish were reported but it was impossible to set trawls for sometimes a week or more 
on a stretch. The vessels were badly buffeted and suffered considerable loss of trawls 
and sustained much damage. During December severe weather caused a short 
catch and groundfish prices at the Boston fish pier were high in consequence. 
Gales and boisterous seas continued throughout January and in consequence of the 
light receipts, haddock sold as high as $15.15 per hundredweight and codfish at 
$16. Extreme cold weather and heavy gales continued on the fishing grounds 
through February. Groundfish, however, were in better receipt than during 
January, but the vessels still profited by high prices. During the second week in 
February fish struck on Georges and the vessels brought better fares with corre- 
sponding decline in price. 

Fish continued in heavy receipt during March and 4,000,000 pounds or more went 
to the splitters. April opened with the supply light and good prices, the closing 
week of Lent, however, finding fish in good supply. During the last half of the 
month, groundfish were in considerably lighter receipt and haddock generally sold 
at good prices. The operations through April closed what is generally known as 
the winter season. During the summer the fleet generally brought in good fares, 
frequently as usual having to sell them to the splitters. There were several oc- 
casions however during the summer season when the demand and prices were 
unusually good. 

In October the winter season commenced with a large fleet in operation. The 
vessels met with fair success and at times found good markets for their catches. 
The steam otter trawling fleet was suddenly increased to almost full size and the 
latter part of November found 24 of these crafts operating. 

In early November, because of heavy weather, groundfish was again in light 
supply and haddock on one occasion soared to the mid-winter figure of 15 cents 
per pound from the vessels. 

The haddocking year produced better than an average year's catch, but prices 
to the fishermen were somewhat lower than 1921 and the year was not one of profit 
generally to vessel owners and fishermen. 

Swordfishing Fleet. 

The swordfishery of 1922 will go down in the history of the industry as one of the 
best on record. The season opened considerably in advance of last year, fish ap- 
pearing in goodly quantities off the southwest part of Georges early in June. 

The first fish was landed at New Bedford by Captain Sam Jackson of Edgar- 
town, on or about June 17; and on June 22 Sch. Hazel R. Jackson, Captain Robert 
Jackson, arrived at Boston with 86 fish, taken 25 miles southeast of Nantucket 
Shoals Light Ship, in 50 fathoms of water. The fish sold for 32 cents per pound 
and the crew shared $346 to a man. July fares were all caught on the southwest 
part of Georges in 40 to 70 fathoms water. 

During the entire season small boats operating off Block Island and No Man's 
Land, continued to find fish in varying quantities, but the main body of the school 
remained on the Southwest part of the bank all through June, July, and up to 
August 20, at which time moving in a northerly direction, crossing the bank west 
of the "North Shoal", were next located off the northern edge in Lat. 42° 10' to 
42° 15' extending eastward to the " Northeast Peak." All through September 
good catches were made on these grounds despite the fact that blowy and thick 
weather prevailed the greater part of the time. 

American boats operating along the Nova Scotia coast through August and 
September met with poor success as the swordfish followed the herring schools into 
the bays and harbors out of reach of American fishermen, who are excluded from 
those waters by Treaty restrictions. 



38 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

The outstanding feature of the swordfishery of 1922 is the fact that in spite of 
adverse conditions which prevailed throughout the entire season, the quantity and 
quality of this important food fish caught and marketed by our fishermen is far in 
excess of that of any season in the past. 

The Mackerel Fishery. 

Notwithstanding that the mackerel fishery, as pursued by seining and netting 
crafts operating from Massachusetts ports was almost a total blank for practically 
the three months which in many seasons past have produced a large percentage of 
the total catch, it is gratifying to record increased landings to the extent of 10,000 
barrels, fresh, over the returns for the 1921 season. The season's receipts of salted 
mackerel, 2,749 barrels, were the smallest with one exception since 1804, previous 
to which date there are no records available for comparison. In 1814, which it 
will be recalled was during a war with England, the landings of salted mackerel 
were but 1,349 barrels. 

For practically the whole season small mackerel, commonly known as "spikes", 
"tacks", or "blinks" were in evidence in great body. These fish, in large schools, 
first reported by the southern netters and seiners in May, in June made then- 
appearance on the Massachusetts coast, and hauls were made bj' traps at Cape 
Cod and along shore throughout the season. In September, October and Novem- 
ber, seiners and traps made large hauls, fairly glutting the markets at times and 
causing the price to slump to such a low level that seining vessels desisted making 
catches. The traps continued to secure hauls well into November. During these 
Fall months the fish taken weighed 2 to a pound. 

The southern season catch, all landed fresh, showed a gain of nearly 3,000 bar- 
rels over 1921. Late in May the entire fleet was operating off the Nova Scotia 
Cape Shore, leaving the netters in full possession of southern operations. These 
little crafts did well indeed as far as catch went, having several days of unusually 
large total landings, although prices at times were low. The southern catch was 
better than the average and the Cape Shore season opened with a total southern 
catch of 15,797 barrels fresh as compared with 13,192 in 1921. 

Although more fares from the Cape Shore were landed than for many years, the 
average catch per vessel was smaller. An unusual feature of this fishery was the 
landing of eight fresh mackerel fares by Massachusetts seiners at Liverpool and 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, the catches being shipped to Boston or sold at the place of 
landing. The great bulk of the mackerel on the Cape Shore passed along close 
inshore, inside the three mile limit from which American fishing operations are 
excluded by treaty, and the Nova Scotia traps and netters profited to an unusual 
degree. So great was this catch that very large shipments, fully 13,630 barrels, 
poured into Boston via the Yarmouth steamer and even whole steamer loads be- 
sides were shipped for market to Portland and the Boston fish pier. 

This great foreign influx naturally had its effect on prices so that while the fresh 
landings by home crafts, 1,353,900 pounds, compared favorably with that of three 
years out of the past six, yet the monetary return was smaller in comparison. The 
Cape Shore fleet brought but 2,344 barrels of salted mackerel, (the smallest in the 
history of this fishery,) as against 3,003 barrels in 1921. 

Following their arrival home from Cape Shore the seining fleet cruised back and 
forth between the South Shoal Lightship and the Lurcher Lightship off the south- 
west tip of Nova Scotia, thence into the Gulf of Maine and around and all along 
the shore, finding few if any fish, and most of them hauled up in July. Some few 
of the larger vessels went to the far off Gulf of St. Lawrence in hopes of finding 
some fish there. In a small measure their hopes and judgment were gratified, but 
the catch as a total was very small. 

During the last week in July 1,000 barrels of small mackerel were received at 
Boston from the Cape Cod traps and occasionally some small craft would arrive at 
Boston or Portland with a small fare for which splendid prices were received. On 
September 14th the shore fleet of small seiners which had been darting here and 
there and everywhere and finding nothing, ran in with the large schools of small 



1922.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



39 



mackerel previously referred to and profited well thereby. Schools of these fish 
ranged from Middle Bank, along by Boon Island and the Isle of Shoals, into Ipswich 
Bay and also along Old Orchard Beach on the Maine coast. The seining crafts 
had no trouble in securing good catches, indeed the work of the fleet was limited 
only by the capacity of the market to take them away. This very unexpected but 
most opportune fishery lasted until November and in many cases proved what is 
known among the fishermen as a "life saver" to a season's work. 

Late in November the mackerel netting fleet began its operations along shore. 
At the start the catches were small and the weather none too good, but later on 
conditions began to improve, the fish in their southerly migration came along in 
better numbers and as a result the fall netting fleet prospered splendidly, the catch 
by these small crafts up to November 30 being estimated at least 6,600 barrels. 

The Massachusetts catches of fresh and salted mackerel from Dec. 1, 1921 to 
Nov. 30, 1922, inclusive, and for the corresponding period of the two previous 
vears were as follows: 





Dec. 1, 1921, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1922. 


Dec. 1, 1920, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1921. 


Dec. 1, 1919, 

to 
Nov. 30, 1920. 


Salt mackerel (barrels) 

Fresh mackerel (barrels) 


2,749 
50,203 


3,242 
40,323 


4,897 
79,799 




52,952 


43,565 


84,696 



Cape Shore Catches of Mackerel for Six Years. 



Year. 


Arrivals. 


Fresh Mackerel 
(Pounds). 


Salt Mackerel 
(Barrels). 


1922 

1921 

1920 

1919 

1918 

1917 

1916 


48 
29 
30 
32 
38 
32 
24 


1,353,900 
2,160,000 
1,290,000 
2,119,000 
1,689,000 
2,229,000 
1,161,000 


2,344 
3,003 
3,217 
6,275 
7,558 
7,131 
3,718 



Salt Bank Codfishing. 

The salt bank codfishing fleet in numbers was the same as last year, six crafts 
being engaged. The catch, because of scarcity of fish on the usual fishing grounds 
from Quero to the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, was smaller even than last year 
and thus the financial return was proportionately unsatisfactory, not only to the 
fishermen engaged but to the dealers as well. From Gloucester there went four 
crafts, two at trawling and two at dory hand-lining. From Boston one sailing 
craft engaged, and a direct innovation in this line of work was furnished by a Bos- 
ton steam otter trawler which also made two trips. Prices as compared with re- 
cent years were low. 

The Shacking Fleet. 

Nowadays the term "shacking" as applied to the summer fishery for groundfish, 
the majority of which catches go to the splitting knife to be made into salted fish, 
is a misnomer. There was a time when " shack" meant anything that could not 
be sold for market use. Today this is all changed thanks to the determined atti- 
tude of the salt fish dealers of Gloucester that fish to be accepted for splitting and 
salting must be of " market" quality. This fleet was favored with fairly good 
weather, outside of long continued spells of fog and landed a much increased total 



40 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 

over the previous year. The season, however, because of low price-, was not 
productive of much profit to either fishermen or vessel owners. The season's 
landings was in the neighborhood of 25 million pounds of fresh fish. 

Fresh Halibut Fleet. 

For the fourth successive year the fresh halibut fleet has enjoyed an unusual 
measure of good fortune, and "prosperity" and "success" are written large across 
the record of its operations from February to November. No fleet in the Massa- 
chusetts fish-catching flotilla has shown a more satisfactory catch and profitable 
financial return. 

The total catch of the fleet was as large, if not a little larger than last year, while 
prices ranged from fair to high, seldom during the whole season falling to what could 
be actually termed low figures. The catch was approximately 5,700,000 pounds. 
The Massachusetts fleet tins year numbered 27 sail, one more than last year, making 
it the largest in recent years. 

One craft, which was among the catch and stock leaders of the fleet, made 10 
trips in the season of less than 10 months, a driving record indeed. Among the 
leaders of the fleet the fishing was exceedingly even. The top-notch catch for one 
vessel for the season was 429,000 pounds, while the second in line weighed off 
425,000 pounds and the third was close up with 419,000 pounds. As usual Boston 
was the principal market, the Massachusetts crafts landing about 4 million pounds 
of their catch at Boston fish pier. Portland proved a popular market also for our 
vessels as evidenced by the landings there of about 1,625,000 pounds. 

The Gill Netting Fleet. 

In the past few years, this fishery has seen a marked decline, so much so that 
while in 1921 some 18 crafts were engaged, this year found but seven or eight. Last 
December this fleet, which started operations in the September previous, found 
very good fishing, but suddenly catches dropped to a low ebb. Early in January 
small fares were landed, but owing to very bad weather and scarcity of offshore 
fares these little crafts received good returns for their labors. During the latter 
part of January, owing to unusually bad weather, the boats were able to go to the 
fishing grounds but few days and the returns therefrom were so poor that many of 
the crafts hauled up. These same conditions prevailed during February but in the 
latter part of this month the boats located the large schools of haddock. From 
March 1 to 15 the boats did fairly well, but fishing then became spotty and results 
and returns w r ere generally poor. Early in April the same conditions continued 
and by April 25 the season was practically over with a total catch of 5,534,000 
pounds. 

The fishery this fall opened on September 28 and up to November 30 had been 
pursued bv only seven or eight crafts. The October and November catch totalled 
about 1,900,000 pounds. 

The Flounder Fishery. 

The flounder industry as pursued by some 100 or more Massachusetts crafts 
has risen in the past few 3 r ears to a point where it is attracting attention as one of 
the most prolific pursued in inshore or not too far-off waters. The headquarters 
of this fishery are Nantucket, Provincetown and Hyannisport. At Provincetown 
the total catch this year was about 9,000 barrels and about 1,000 barrels of lemon 
sole. The prices secured have been rather higher than in 1920 and in 1921. The 
fishing at Hyannisport started in on March 5th and continued until May 25th, the 
spring catch being about 7,000 barrels. This fall's fishing out of Hyannisport has 
been more than up to standard, about 2,000 barrels having been shipped to the 
New York market up to November 30th and the season was then estimated to be 
about half over. Prices had ranged high. The flounder year at Nantucket was 
remarkably successful, about 50 boats of large size operating from that port and 
the result of their season's landings there was 25,119 barrels. The fish were of 



1922.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — Xo. 25. 41 

large size, very few small fish being taken as compared with recent years. Many 
crafts which make Nantucket their port headquarters, on securing the full trips 
did not stop at that port to ship, but landed their catches direct at the New York 
market. 

The total flounder landings of the fleet at Nantucket, Hyannisport and Province- 
town for the year aggregate 40,600 barrels, while the landings at New York direct 
aggregated 75% of the total Nantucket landings, or 17,000 barrels more. Besides 
the landings at the places above mentioned quite a large quantity of flounders were 
landed direct at Boston and Gloucester. A close estimate of the total catch of the 
season is set at 61,000 barrels, or 12,200,000 pounds, truly a home fishery to be 
encouraged and safeguarded. 

Salt and Frozen Herring Fleet. 

Despite the fact that several cargoes of salt herring and a comparatively small 
quantity of frozen herring were received at the Boston and Gloucester markets 
from outside sources during the winter of 1921-2, from bays on the south and west 
coasts of Newfoundland, but two Massachusetts crafts, both from Gloucester, en- 
gaged in this industry. In addition, one Nova Scotia schooner was chartered by 
Gloucester parties. The great bulk of the fares were landed at Gloucester and 
Boston. The landings at Gloucester and Boston aggregated up to March 31, 
13,325 barrels of salted herring in bulk, 2,308 barrels pickled, 756 barrels of Scotch 
cure and 4,050 barrels of frozen herring — comprising the fares of 16 crafts. The 
Fall of this year found the Massachusetts fleet in this industry increased from two 
to five crafts, all from Gloucester, besides two chartered to Gloucester parties. 

Fishing Notes of Interest. 

For the first time in the history of the Massachusetts fisheries industry, "coals 
were carried to Newcastle" from the Pacific Coast via the water route. The dif- 
ference between water borne and rail carrying freight charges was the reason for the 
arrival at the Boston Fish Pier on March 7 of the steamer Neponset, hailing from 
Pacific ports, via the Panama canal, with 852 boxes of frozen halibut, 2,990 boxes 
of frozen salmon and 25 barrels of salted salmon. 

Along the coast during the summer, small or "bab3 T " bluefish were in evidence, 
indeed it is hard to find a harbor, bay or estuary in which these sporty fish did not 
press themselves. Few were taken at Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket, but going 
to the eastward and particularly on the North Shore, from the Saugus River to the 
Merrimack River they were quite in evidence. 

For the first time in its history Massachusetts received mackerel caught on the 
Pacific coast when on March 24, 15 boxes of these desirable fish, 120 pounds to the 
box, the fish weighing from l£ to 2\ pounds each, were received at the Boston fish 
pier, the consignment coming from the southern coast of California. The fish, which 
were brine frozen, are reported to have come through in good condition and met 
with a ready sale. While not like our regular mackerel, (scomber scombrus) they 
were somewhat identical and yet more approached the ''bull's eye" in identity. 
These fish were shipped direct to Philadelphia in a refrigerator car and thence to 
Boston by fast express. Following this shipment, two other small lots were re- 
ceived by Boston fish merchants during the winter season. 

During the summer the coast from Boston to Newburyport, and to a lesser 
extent on some sections of the south shore, was fairly alive with monstrous schools 
of porgies. These fish were followed naturally by a large fleet of porgy steamers, 
as many as 18 operating at one time from Nahant to Cape Ann. They made very 
large catches as the fish were easy to take. Some of the shore fishermen complained 
bitterly that these porgy seiners in their operations destroyed considerable fishing 
gear in the way of lobster traps and gill nets. Good hauls were also made by 
traps and shore boats and several thousand barrels were placed in cold storage for 
bait. The lobster fishermen also secured a goodly quantity for bait. 



42 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Cape Cod Activities. 

An improvement in the Cape Cod fisheries is noted. At Provincetown the traps 
did very well. The fish most plentiful were mackerel and butterfish and the catches 
of these, instead of going to the freezers, because of the good market demand were 
shipped fresh daily. The traps at Provincetown and Truro made fair catches 
every week after July came in, and some satisfactory hauls were made before this 
date. 

Herring and whiting, combination food as well as bait fishes, were quite scarce, 
comparatively speaking, while squid was also not in much receipt. However, it is 
figured that the Provincetown and Truro freezers found their bins stocked to from 
one half to two thirds capacity, an improvement over the dismal 1921 showing. 

At Chatham and to the westward, the season's fishery was below the average, in 
fact ver}' poor. Around Brewster and up the North Shore, to the Cape Cod canal 
the traps did well on butterfish and mackerel, while Dennis and Hyannisport traps 
shared the fate of those at Chatham, the catches being less if anything, indeed 
experienced fishermen at Chatham and to the westward figured it their poorest 
season for 20 years. 

In Cape Cod Bay good mackerel catches were recorded. The traps near the 
Cape Cod canal made good hauls and also good lifts of large sized butterfish, these 
latter hauls continuing into late in the season. Mackerel, were quite plenty in 
Plymouth waters during all the summer and fall and afforded good handline fishing. 

Buzzards Bay Fisheries. 

From the standpoint of the wholesaler the Buzzards Bay fisheries, together with 
those which make their headquarters at New Bedford, was a failure, as it was in 
1921. Although some landings showed improvement, the Buzzards Bay traps as 
a whole are reported to have taken less than they did the previous year. 

At New Bedford this year, 1,300 barrels of fresh mackerel were landed from ves- 
sels which took them in adjacent waters as against 800 barrels in 1921 and 7,000 
barrels in 1920. About 1,200 swordfish were landed at New Bedford this season 
weighing about 235,000 pounds as against 650 fish in 1921 and 1,000 fish in 1920. 
These fish above mentioned were caught outside of Buzzards Bay, but were mar- 
keted at New Bedford. 

The boat fishermen and trap men of Buzzards Bay, however, feel that they 
caught a very fair amount of fish of various kinds such as scup, mackerel and tautog 
during the season, besides a large quantity of fish that were used for scientific pur- 
poses at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole. 

The handline fishing boats had the best fishing for codfish, striped bass and black- 
fish for a number of years. A considerable quantity of striped bass were caught in 
the traps in the north shore of Buzzards Bay. 

Taking it all in all the Buzzards Bay fishing this season, in the opinion of the boat 
and trap fishermen, has been very fair. 

Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Fisheries. 

Outside of the excellent fishing enjoyed by the flounder fleet, the fisheries prose- 
cuted from Nantucket this 3^ear were of a not very satisfactory yield. The traps 
did not have a very big season. Mackerel have been very shy in waters contiguous 
to Nantucket, and summer flounders or flukes were in fair receipt the last part of 
the season. 

A new branch of fishery was started at Nantucket this summer when two or three 
local boats engaged in catching sharks for a firm that makes leather from shark 
skins, landing 2,500 sharks during the season. 

One boat engaged in sturgeon fishing but had a very poor season. This craft, 
the Eleanor May, Capt. Olaf Borgen, fished in Nantucket Sound near Tuckernuck 
Shoal for one month during the summer, securing only 30 fish. 



1922." 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



43 



The bluefish catch was very light and confined to the traps, the fish taken being 
small. 

At Martha's Vineyard the spring run of alewives was about as usual, the catch 
aggregating 6,000 barrels. Prices ruled low and most of the fish taken before May 
went for bait. The May catch went to the scalers, the season ending unusually 
early, about May 20. 

Flounders were plenty throughout the season but prices were frequently so low 
that some of the fleet was hauled up part of the time. Cod and haddock fishing 
was also good but prices were so low that few boats engaged. 

The unfavorable weather interfered greatly with a good summer catch of sword- 
fish. During September and October, however, quite a number were landed at 
Edgartown. Xo bluefish were taken and scup, sea bass and flukes were very 
scarce. Some mackerel were taken by the netters in May and June but this fishery 
was a failure the rest of the season. 

Boston Fishing Activities. 

The crafts of the fishing fleet marketing their fares at Boston made what can 
be called an average year's total of landings — 104,667,229 pounds, this total being 
but slightly short of the 1921 receipts, and does not include the several millions of 
pounds, which brought to this port, found no market because of over-plus produc- 
tion for the immediate moment and then were diverted to the Gloucester market 
for splitting and salting. With this latter amount figured in, the Hub total of fish 
hailings would have been well ahead of 1921, but for the sake of accuracy of sta- 
tistics, it is computed in the Gloucester landings. 

Though prices averaged slightly lower for the year and the landings too were less, 
the anomaly of a really better and more prosperous condition is truly presented, 
because mainly of the fact that trade has materially improved and marked improve- 
ment has been shown in three lines — the halibut, swordfish and fresh mackerel 
branches, all in the higher price class as a general proposition. 

Codfish were in less receipt than in 1921, while haddock, the staple, was but 
700,000 pounds behind last year. Fresh mackerel, swordfish and halibut, on the 
other hand, showed substantial gains. 

Receipts of fish at Boston from the fishing fleet from Dec. 1, 1921 to November 
30, 1922: 



Large codfish (10 lbs. and over) 
Market cod (those under 10 and over 2\ lbs.) 
Cod scrod (those weighing 1 to 2 lbs.) . 
Haddock ...... 

Large hake (6 lbs. and over) 
Small hake (under 6 lbs.) 

Pollock 

Cusk 

Halibut 

Fresh mackerel ..... 
Miscellaneous (butterfish, catfish, flounders, redfish, shad, smelt, herring, stur 
geon, sharks, bonitas, swordfish, etc.) ....... 



617,445 
847,103 
522,485 
325,044 
58,140 
891,918 
299,040 
034,202 
120,826 
977,666 



5,973,360 
104,667,229 



The figures in the preceding table are furnished, as in previous years, by Mr. 
F. F. Dimick, secretary of the Boston Fish Bureau, an authority on Boston fish- 
eries matters. 



The Gloucester Fisheries. 

An increase of approximately 3,000,000 pounds is noted in the receipts of fish at 
the port of Gloucester for the year 1921. This, in connection with a greater volume 
of export trade and improved domestic demand has produced a better feeling all 
around. The enactment of the protective tariff bill, it is felt, especially by fisher- 
men and producers, will work for the benefit of the industry. 



44 



FISH AND GAME. 



[Nov. 



The policy of the curers and shippers of salt fish of placing quality above quantity 
production is being continued and the increased trade during the year is the best 
answer as to the value and worth of this stand. In tins quality standard effort the 
shippers and curers welcomed and had the active and appreciated assistance of the 
state inspector of fish. 

Both fresh cod and haddock have been in more generous receipt and this practi- 
cally accounts for the better total showing over 1921. Receipts of salt cod are a 
little less than in the previous year. Fresh pollock landings show a large falling 
off as compared with the total 1921 receipts in this line. There has been a gratify- 
ing increase in landings of salt herring from Newfoundland. Fresh mackerel have 
been in better receipt, while the landings of fresh halibut were disappointing. 

The following table gives the receipts from all sources at this port from Dec. 1, 
1921 to Nov. 30, 1922: 



Salt cod 

Fresh cod 

Halibut 

Haddock 

Hake 

Cusk 

Pollock 

Flitches 

Not product of 



Ajner. fisheries 



6,434,575 

16,635,423 

164,207 

11,605,699 

2,306,803 

858,562 

3,035,755 

23,742 

10,696,273 

51,761,039 



Fresh mackerel (Pounds) 
Salt mackerel (Barrels) 
Fresh herring (Pounds) 
Salt herring (Barrels) . 
Cured fish (Quintals) . 
Small boats (est.) (Pounds) 
By rail . 
Flounders 



697,476 

1,417 

632,475 

14,261 

3,934 

1,000,000 

_i 

-2 



Total, Dec. 1, 1921, to Nov. 30, 1922, 58,066,506 pounds. 

Shore Fisheries. 

Owing to the necessity of curtailing the bulk and costs of annual reports the tables 
of statistics hitherto published yearly in the Appendix are omitted. The totals 
alone are given of the returns from the shore net and pound fisheries for 1922. 

Number of men engaged, 369; number of boats, 284; value of boats, $95,492.00; 
number of fish pounds, 115; value of fish pounds, $142,647.25; number of nets, 
783; value of nets, $19,370.50. Catch in pounds, — 



Ale wives 352,095 

Bluefish 19,901 

Flounders 549,646 

Mackerel 2,262.543 

Menhaden 542,820 

Pollock 80,207 

Salmon 134 

Scup 48,235 

Total pounds, 11,030,129; 



Sea bass 4,538 

Sea herring 554,245 

Shad 5,479 

Squeteague 5,818 

Striped bass 3,076 

Squid 886,953 

Tautog 35,936 

Other edible or bait species . . 5,678,503 

total value, S296.877.92. 



Lobster Fishery. 

The totals of the tabulation of the returns of the year's fishing, required of the 
lobster men by law, follow. The complete tabulation, hitherto published in detail, 
is discontinued by reason of the necessity of curtailing printing expenses. 



1 Included in sections of table given above. 

2 Included in small boats catch. 



1922.1 



PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 



45 



Number of men engaged in the fishery, 730; number of boats, 907; value of 
boats, $183,804.60; number of pots used, 47,531; value of pots, $119,735.60; 
number of lobsters taken, 1,561,260; pounds of lobsters, 2,341,882; value of lob- 
sters, $478,927.21; number of egg-bearing lobsters taken and returned to the 
waters, 21,343. 

As required by Chapter 130, section 106, General Laws, it is hereby reported 
that the number of lobster licenses issued in 1922 was 1,112. 

Bounties ox Seals. 

The following towns were reimbursed by the Commonwealth for bounties paid 
on seals under Ch. 130, Gen. Laws, § 155: Barnstable, $2; Chatham, $2; Co- 
hasset, S2; Duxbury, $28; Gloucester, $4; Plymouth, $12; Saugus, $2; Yarmouth, 
$28; fees to treasurers, $20. 

Mollusk Fisheries. 

A survey of the mollusk fisheries was made during the summer. Compared with 
the survey of 1907 it shows an improvement in the clam fishery, a decline in the 
oyster and quahaug, and little change in the scallop. 

Clam. 

Numerous changes since 1907 may be noted. The industry as a whole has de- 
clined as to number of men engaged and in total production, but the average jdeld 
per man for the important clamming centers has materially increased, owing to 
better prices and more abundant supply. In fact, the market demand in Essex 
County at times is insufficient to take the production. The individual flats have 
changed somewhat as to distribution of the set, and production in certain towns 
has increased or declined; but the supply as a whole has increased. The method 
of marketing has changed, the advent of the automobile having brought truck de- 
livery and the wayside sale of clams. 

Control of the clam flats in their respective towns was granted to Ipswich and 
Rowlev for additional ten-vear periods, by renewal of leases from the Commonwealth 
under Chapter 710, Acts of 1912. 

Scallop. 

The erratic distribution of scallops renders statistics of any one year of little 
comparative value. Weather conditions at the time of spawning and the severity 
of the following winter are the factors influencing the abundance of this mollusk. 
The 1921-1922 season as a whole, while above the average, was not especially 
noteworthy. 

Oyster. 

The oyster industry of New England has shown a decline during the past fifteen 
3 r ears, and the majority of Massachusetts oystermen are more or less pessimistic 
regarding its future. Except for the localities where oyster planting has ceased 
our statistics show that, in spite of a diminished production, the industry is still 
being carried on successfully. The 1921-22 figures are given in round numbers 
since estimates have been necessary in certain towns. 



1906-1907. 



1921-1922. 



Loss. 



Leased area 

Annual production in bushels 

Capital invested 

Men engaged 



1,774 

161,182 

$268,702 

159 



1,850 

113,000 

208,000 

120 



48,182 

60,702 

39 



46 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 



Quahaug. 

The quahaug fishery shows an appreciable decline since 1907, which is indicated 
by the decrease both in the number of men and in the production. This change is 
chiefly confined to the north side of Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay. Since 1907 the 
value of quahaugs has increased, little-neck and sharp now bringing one dollar and 
more per bushel, and blunts forty cents. In spite of the increased prices, the values 
of the production in these localities have also appreciably fallen off. 

Shad. 

Efforts over many years to secure shad eggs from California for hatching in the 
hope of rehabilitating the shad fisheries of Massachusetts have been unsuccessful, 
and the costs are prohibitive. The most practical plan is to develop the remnant 
of the shad fishery that remains. A very small remnant of the once famous shad 
fishe^ of the Taunton River exists; a small number run up the Agawam River as 
far as the fishway at East Wareham; an occasional shad may be taken in Coles 
River, Swansea, and North River, Pembroke. It is note worth}' that for the first 
time in several years as many as 1,000 were taken in the Palmer River; hence this 
is the logical place to begin. In attempting to reach the Palmer River in Massa- 
chusetts the shad are obstructed by the fish traps in Narragansett Bay and the nets 
in the Rhode Island portion of the Palmer River. Our efforts over a period of 
years to secure legislation on the part of Rhode Island to permit the shad to reach 
Massachusetts waters culminated this year in the passage of an act prohibiting 
the taking of any shad in the Palmer River or setting of apparatus for catching 
fish, except hook and line, from sunset Saturday until sunrise Wednesday of each 
week, or to otherwise prevent the free passage of fish. This act was to take effect 
only on the passage of similar legislation in Massachusetts, — recommendation for 
which this Division made to the General Court of 1923. 

Ale wife. 

The plantings of alewives in Monponsett and Robbins ponds were detailed under 
''Distribution." This is our effort to restore the fisheries in the streams leading 
to these ponds, now opened by fish ways, but deserted by the alewives previously 
on account of obstructing dams. These efforts are bearing fruit, as proved by the 
presence of large numbers of young alewives in Monponsett Pond in 1921 and in 
the canal between the lakes, and the passage down stream of quantities of young in 
the fall of 1922. 

All the accomplishments in the line of fishways installation is just so much ac- 
complished towards the return of the alewives to the stream thus opened. The 
surprising number of alewives that appeared in the Merrimack, presaging a restora- 
tion of this fishery, has already been mentioned under "Fishways." 

The dates of the ale wive run at the most important ale wife streams, with facts 
concerning the catches, and the sale prices, have been recorded in the office files. 

Respectfully submitted, 

WILLIAM C. ADAMS, 

Director. 



1922.1 PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 25. 47 



APPENDIX. 



Recommendations to be contained in the Fifty-seventh Annual Report of 
the Division of Fisheries and Game for the Year 1922. 

The director respectfully recommends the passage of laws designed to accom- 
plish the following purposes. 

1. To require a Fishing License to fish in all Inland Waters. — The present law 
requires a license for fishing in only those inland waters which have been stocked 
by this department since January 1,1910. The publication yearly of lists of waters 
stocked during the year involves considerable expense. Further, by reason of the 
fact that many streams are known by various names, much confusion is created 
in the minds of persons who wish to determine whether a stream has or has not 
been stocked. Many of the unstocked waters are being depleted and we believe 
they should be protected by requiring licenses for fishing therein. 

2. To make the Laws of Massachusetts relative to Migratory Birds conform with the 
Laws of the United States. — The Federal Government has entered into a treaty 
with the Dominion of Canada for the uniform protection of migratory birds on the 
North American continent. The Federal laws of this connection render conflicting 
State laws void. Very often there is great delay in prosecuting cases in the Federal 
courts where business is greatly congested. It is desirable that the State laws 
conform with the Federal laws in order that violators may be prosecuted in either 
jurisdiction. The benefits of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act are already a matter 
of common knowledge, and should have this additional support. 

3. To allow the Commissioner of Conservation to take Lands by Right of Eminent 
Domain for Fish and Game Refuges and Public Fishing and Hunting Grounds. — 
The land of the Commonwealth is held by a comparatively small number of its 
citizens. The expense of propagating fish and game is borne primarily by those 
who hunt and fish as the result of the license system. However, a part of the 
funds is provided by the general treasury. The wild life of the Commonwealth 
belongs to all its people, but it lives on the land and in the waters controlled by the 
comparatively few. Under our laws the land-owners have the right to exclude the 
public if they so desire. There should be some provision guaranteeing to the public 
permanent benefits from the annual investment of funds in this work. This pro- 
tection can be best insured by establishing public shooting grounds, game sanctu- 
aries and public fishing grounds which shall be open to the public at all times, 
under suitable regulation, on much the same status as our great ponds. 

4. To protect Shad in Palmer's River. — This river flows into Narragansett Bay 
in the State of Rhode Island. At the last session of the Rhode Island Legislature 
a law was passed giving substantial protection to the shad in their annual run from 
the sea to their spawning grounds. This law is not to go into effect until similar 
protective legislation has been passed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

5. To allow Persons in Charge of Public Lands to issue Permits for the Hunting 
and Trapping of Predatory Birds and Animals. — Under the present law all of the 
public lands are game refuges and for the benefit of the useful birds and animals 
within those reservations the persons in charge thereof should be empowered to 
issue permits allowing the hunting of predatory birds and animals which prey upon 
the birds and quadrupeds which are an economic asset. 

6. To prohibit the Sale of Trout and further protect the Brown and Rainbow Trout. 
— For many years the sale of wild trout has been prohibited but when the general 
laws were revised in 1920 the phraseology was rearranged which makes it uncertain 



48 FISH AND GAME. [Nov. 1922. 

as to whether or not the sale of trout is actually forbidden. All question should be 
removed by clarifying the act and the same protection should be extended to the 
brown trout and rainbow trout both of which are being propagated. 

7. To give the Director the Right to regulate the Taking of New Species of Fish and 
Game which he may introduce into the State for Experimental Purposes. — The de- 
partment is constantly on the alert to find new species of fish and game which will 
establish themselves and propagate in the streams, ponds and covers of the Com- 
monwealth and the director should have the right to prohibit or regulate the taking 
of them during the experimental work. At the present time a new specie is at 
the mercy of the public as there are no laws to protect many kinds of fish and 
game. For illustration, — in the spring of 1922 twelve thousand channel catfish 
were brought from Lake Erie. A portion was planted in the upper part of the 
Connecticut River, a portion in the Merrimack River and some in several ponds. 
The channel catfish is not covered by our laws and until it is ascertained whether 
the specie will adapt itself to our waters it should be given such protection as will 
appear desirable. It is impossible to state in advance when the opportunity may 
be offered to obtain numbers of a given specie of wild life. Often after their in- 
troduction, should it be necessary to wait until the Legislature can take action, 
the specimen msiy be completely destroyed, under existing conditions, before suf- 
ficient safeguards can be thrown around them. 

8. To extend the Close Seasons on Pond Fish, to prohibit the Catching of them 
during the Winter, to provide a Close Season on Horned Pout and to prohibit the 
Sale of Pond Fish where that is not alreadij provided for. — The division is convinced 
that the present demands on our fisheries are such that winter fishing and the sale 
of fresh water fish must be prohibited if our waters are to continue to furnish a 
reasonable amount of fishing for the general public during the rest of the year. 
The horned pout is one of the most valuable food fishes in the Commonwealth and 
should have equal protection during the breeding season to that given other species. 

9. To allow the Department of Conservation to receive Propertij in Trust for the 
Propagation and Protection of Useful Wild Birds, Quadrupeds and Fish. — There is 
a growing disposition on the part of those interested in conservation to turn over 
to the Department of Conservation lands and personal property, including money, 
to carry on the work. The purpose of this legislation is to put the department in 
a position to legally accept these gifts and administer them in a way to meet the 
wishes of the donors. 



Public Document No. 25 

CJje Commontoealtt) of 9^a00acf)U0ett0 



ANNUAL REPORT 

OF THE 

" DIVISION OF FISHERIES AND GAME 

A 



FOR THE 



Year ending November 30, 1923 



Department of CYxservatjon 




Publication of this Document approved by the Commission on Administration and Finance 






CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

General Considerations 3 

Personnel 4 

Finances 4 

Conferences 5 

Activities outside the State 5 

Courtesies 5 

Enforcement of Laws 6 

Equipment 6 

Co-operation 7 

Legislation 7 

Education and Publicit} r 7 

Biological Department 8 

Wild Birds and Animals 8 

Migratory Birds 9 

Upland Game 11 

Enemies to Game 13 

Reservations 14 

Inland Fisheries 16 

General 16 

Trout . 16 

Chinook Salmon 17 

Pike Perch 17 

Pickerel and Pike 17 

Bass 17 

White Perch 17 

Smelt 18 

Horned Pout and Catfish 18 

Bluegill, Calico Bass, Long-eared Sunfish 18 

Ice Fishing 18 

Ponds 18 

Public Rights . 18 

Ponds stocked and closed 19 

Privately-owned Ponds Stocked 19 

Fishways 19 

Pollution .\.. M ' 21 

Propagation of Fish and Game 22 

Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms 22 

Field Propagation — Pond Cultural Methods 25 

Shaker Mill Pond 25 

Stockwell Ponds 25 

Fish and Game Distribution 26 

Marine Fisheries * 29 

Inspection of Fish . . * 29 

Deep Sea Fisheries ' . . 32 

Shore Fisheries 42 

The Lobster Fishery 43 

Bounties on Seals 43 

Mollusk Fisheries 43 

Shad 44 

Alewife 44 

Appendix — Recommendations for Legislation 45 



Cfte Commontoealtf) of ®$a$mttmmt$ 

The Director of Fisheries and Game herewith presents the fifty-eighth annual 
report. 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. 

Stripped of romance and sentiment the protection and restoration of wild life 
is a business proposition, differing only as to details from that of the poultry 
grower and the stock raiser. In the former case, as in the latter, to insure suc- 
cess the operator must have exclusive control over the ground on which he is to 
work, and have at his disposal those facilities which will combine to give results. 

Under our form of government, where the individual owns the land and the 
central government has but very little voice in the control of that land (outside 
of the exercise of police power), it is apparent at once that the fundamental 
requirement for successful restocking does not exist, — which is, the necessary 
control over the land on which it is sought to protect and increase wild life. 

Two illustrations will suffice. Last year this Division distributed upwards of 
ten thousand English ring-neck pheasants in various parts of the State. The 
State, acting through the Commissioner of Conservation, then established regu- 
lations as to the period of open season, fixed a daily and seasonal bag limit, and 
limited the shooting to cock birds. This is as far as the State can go, but it falls 
far short of the fundamental requirement — such absolute control over the land 
on which the wild life was liberated as would insure the greatest annual produc- 
tion of birds from the breeding stock remaining in the open. The land on which 
the birds were liberated is owned by a large number of individuals. They have 
the exclusive control of it. They can cut down the forests, drain the swamps, 
burn over the brush covers and make a given area Avhich was attractive to the 
birds when they were first liberated, a desert. 

Last year the State planted approximately one and a quarter million brook 
trout fingerlings in the streams. In nearly every instance these are unnavigable 
streams. The riparian owners on either side own the land underneath to the 
thread of the stream, and, (excepting certain State regulations as to pollution) 
have complete control over that section of the stream, under the obligation to 
pass the water on in equal volume and purity to the riparian proprietor below. 
From source to outlet, therefore, the small group of riparian owners on the 
streams has exclusive control over the waters. Ail the Division can do is to plant 
the fish, and the Legislature regulates the taking. Here again the fundamental 
requirement is lacking, namely, the right to do those things necessary to make 
the stream support the largest amount of fish life. The riparian owners may 
cut down all the timber, resulting in warming up the waters^ and causing flood 
conditions which change the entire character of the stream, and in innumerable 
ways may reduce it to a ribbon of waste water. 

As far as the future can be forecasted, there is no assurance that these condi- 
tions will change. So long as they exist, the business of protecting and propa- 
gating wild life over the State as a whole can never be carried on with the 
greatest efficiency and the largest present and permanent results. The State 
that can adopt methods giving the necessary control over at least a reasonable 
amount of its area, will have the largest amount of wild life, relatively speaking. 
The only method available appears to be by the establishment of permanent 
wild life sanctuaries, owned by the State, on which the business of protection 
and propagation can be conducted without interference. Two or three such 
sanctuaries should be established in every county. They should be of sufficient 
size for all practical purposes (a fair tract being 2,500 acres), and the boundary 
lines should be clearly defined and adequately posted. A sufficient force should 
be maintained to protect the sanctuary at all times against poachers, and to 
carry on systematic reduction of all species classed as vermin to a harmless 
minimum. 



4 P.D. 25. 

In addition, those things should be done to gradually put the sanctuary in a 
position to support the largest amount of all forms of desirable wild life. It 
would be very interesting to go into many details on this last proposition, but 
one or two will suffice. The sanctuaries should not be chosen as a lumber and 
firewood proposition, but primarily for the production of wild life. However, 
those areas suitable for reforestation should be cultivated to supply, say in 
twenty-five to fifty years, all of the wooded area required. Food-producing 
grains, shrubs and trees should be planted in favorable locations. Sections of 
rank vegetation should be sufficiently cleaned out to sweeten and renew the 
ground. By diverting streams or damming up spring holes breeding grounds for 
ducks should be made. It is safe to say that the possibilities of this State for 
the production of black ducks alone have never been fully visualized. There are 
thousands of acres upon which a black duck has not alighted for the last 
twenty-five years, which could and would support large numbers of them with 
adequate preparation of the ground and suitable protection throughout the en- 
tire year. 

In these sanctuaries the artificial propagation of various species should be 
carried on as intensively as the character of the ground will permit. Those in 
charge could annually hatch a substantial number of ring-neck pheasant eggs. 
In certain sanctuaries numbers of semi- wild mallards could be produced 
(it being difficult to breed the black duck in captivity). These sanctuaries 
would be producing areas from which, from time to time, the excess amount of 
stock could be distributed in areas open to public shooting. On them the wild 
life would have better protection than could be given to the species generally 
throughout the State. Therefore, during a severe winter, when the quail might 
be reduced on the range generally, the flocks under special protection in the 
sanctuaries could be drawn on to help re-stock the range. 

Today we* rely on the importation of white hares to keep up the stock. 
Should a neighboring state legislate to prohibit the exportation of hares we 
would find it practically impossible to keep up the supply. There are many 
areas in this State admirably adapted to produce a large number of white hares 
from which a reasonable number could annually be distributed in other sections. 
These permanent wild life sanctuaries could likewise be used by the public for 
general recreational purposes, as for example, a limited number of camp sites 
under proper regulations and for winter sports, as well as for observation by 
lovers of the out-doors at such times as would not interfere with the breeding 
seasons. 

Personnel. 

On November 28 His Excellency the Governor re-appointed William C. 

Adams of Newtonville Director of the Division of Fisheries and Game for 
three years. 

Finances. 

Appropriations Expenditures Balances 

For salaries and maintenance . . $210,900 00 $201,303 56 $9,596 44 

For special purposes .... 4,750 00 3,586 97 1,163 03 

Available from 1922 balances . . 691 57 665 06 26 51 



$216,341 57 $205,555 59 $10 3 785 98 
Balances available for next year 1,149 13 



Returned to general treasury $9,636 85 

The revenue turned into the State Treasury was: license fees (details fol- 
low), $188,658.35; sales at game farms and fish hatcheries, $242.90; sales of 
game tags, $52.50; sale of forfeited goods, $397.04; sale of shanty at Monomoy, 
$50; lease of Chilmark Pond, $75.00; lease of clam flats, $60.00; total, 
$189,535.79. 



25. 5 

Receipts in Detail for Licenses. 

Total Gross Fees to Net Return 

Number issued Value Clerks to State 

Combination licenses . 46.958 $97,308 00 $7,043 70 $90,264 30 

Hunting licenses . . 40,411 57,119 75 6,061 65 51,058 10 

Fishing licenses . . 49,536 53,791 00 7,430 40 46,360 60 

Lobster licenses . . 1,142 1,142 00 171 30 970 70 



138,047 $209,360 75 $20,707 05 $188,653 70 1 

The endeavor of the past few years to make the Division approximately self- 
supporting bids fair to be realized, for comparison of expenditures with revenue 
shows the percentages of operating costs met through income from licenses and a 
few other sources to have been : 1918, 38.8% ; 1919, 42.3% ; 1920, 49.3% ; 1921, 
56.2% ; 1922, 81.8% ; 1923, 92%. We may also mention that the money value of 
the hatchery output and the product of the salvage unit goes far towards off- 
setting the operating costs. 

The condition at the close of the present year is a strong contrast to that 
prior to 1909, at which time the Division was supported almost entirely by funds 
raised by general taxation. We are not relaxing our efforts, but have pointed 
out to the Commission on Administration and Finance several directions in which 
savings may be accomplished or more revenue produced through slight changes 
in the laws. Among these may be mentioned : special trapping license ; stopping 
the free issue of duplicates of lost licenses; extending the fishing license provi- 
sion to all waters. Further, by making licenses more easily procurable, and by 
encouraging the non-fishing and non-hunting part of the public, which yet is in- 
terested in wild life, to make its contribution by taking out licenses, the income 
from this source would be swelled. 

A radical change was worked out in methods of keeping license records, to 
go into operation in 1924. It simplified the records of both the town clerks and 
the central office, and will mean a yearly saving to the State of many dollars in 
clerical work, postage, and costs of material and printing. The size of the li- 
cense is reduced from 102 square inches to 27 square inches, which will give a 
75% saving in paper stock alone, with savings on printing and other expenses in 
proportion. 

Conferences. 

The annual conferences between sportsmen, fishermen, bird lovers and the 
officials of the department, for discussion of proposed legislation, were held in 
Middleborough, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield and Boston, on lines similar 
to other such meetings. 

Activities outside the State. 

The Conservation Commissioner and the Director were present at the Ninth 
National Game Conference of the American Game Protective and Propagation 
Association on December 12 and 13, 1922, which is the annual gathering of the 
game breeders of the country. The Director attended the meeting of the Ad- 
visory Board to the U. S. Biological Survey of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 
of which he is a member, in Washington, D. C, on Dec. 14, 1922; the meeting 
of the American Fisheries Society Sept. 17-19, and of the International Associa- 
tion of Game, Fish and Conservation Commissioners, of which he was President, 
the 20th and 21st, in St. Louis, Mo. 

Courtesies. 

We are indebted to a large number of individuals and organizations for co- 
operation and courtesies which have made our work easier, more effective or 
more far-reaching. We are duly sensible of the value of such helpfulness, 
though it is impossible to give individual mention to each case. 

1 There was also a net amount of $4.65 paid in on account of a short payment 
in preceding year. 



6 P.D. 25. 

ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS. 

No material changes were made in the law-enforcement program or methods, 
and but one in personnel. Warden Orin D. Steele of Quincy resigned to accept 
a position as U. S. Game AVarden and was succeaded by Forrest S. Clark. 

Despite the encroachment upon law enforcement work of the increasing ac- 
tivities of the division in which the wardens are engaged in various capacities, 
the number of cases very nearly equalled the previous year, and the fines im- 
posed were $2,382 in excess of last year. 

Number of cases, 534; convicted, 505; discharged, 29; (filed, 84, appealed, 
21); fines imposed, $8,481; costs paid, $115. This does not include the cases 
presented to the Federal courts through the Federal warden, evidence for which 
was secured by the State wardens. 

Licenses revoked: resident combination, 58; resident hunting and trapping, 
31; resident fishing, 27; alien fishing, 8; alien hunting and trapping, 2; total, 126. 

Violations of the lobster laws continue to hold front rank. 34 cases of taking 
u short lobsters " netted $1,522, while 26 violations of other lobster laws, par- 
ticularly fishing without a license, brought in fines aggregating $1,200. The 
largest number of violations of any particular law was in the case of fishing in- 
land stocked waters without a license. Under this charge 123 cases were brought 
to court, and $995 collected in fines. Next in line comes hunting without a li- 
cense, with 70 cases totalling $580 in fines. It is now quite generally known that 
hunting and fishing licenses are required, and most of these cases can be at- 
tributed to carelessness or indifference. 

The advent of Sunday sports had developed somewhat the erroneous idea 
that hunting on Sunday is allowable but 33 persons who contributed $260 in 
fines for this offence now know otherwise. 

The alien hunter still presents a problem in the enforcement of the game laws. 
21 aliens were haled before the courts *«r the unlawful possession of firearms 
and they were fined a total of $800 in addition to the loss of the firearms found 
in their possession. In addition, among the 39 cases of killing protected birds 
for which fines of $795 were imposed the majority were cases of song-bird killing 
by foreign-born hunters. 

Under the fishing laws violations of the trout appeared most numerous as 18 
convictions under this heading brought fines of $225, while violations of the 
pickerel laws numbering 17 cost $51. Violations of the shore fisheries laws 
were also handled successfully as 11 violators of the scallop laws were fined 
$188, 5 of the mackerel laws were taxed $125 and 24 cases of illegal seining or 
trawling cost violators a total of $315. 

The oft-violated requirement of law that a hunting or fishing license shall be 
shown on demand of any person was sustained with a $10 fine in a case com- 
plained of by a land-owner. 

Equipment. 

No greater contribution to the organization's efficiency can be noted than the 
addition of five new Ford touring cars during the year, bringing the total of 
state-owned cars to 14. The value and necessity of a motorized warden force 
has long been recognized, and this increasing percentage of motorization pres- 
ages good results in this branch of the work in the future. However, to assure 
the best results and a standardized policy of operation each warden should have 
a state-owned machine. 

The division 6perated two small power-boats during favorable weather whict 
did good work in suppressing violations in the harbors, bays and rivers along 
the coast. Supplementing these was the Steamer " Lotus " of the Department of 
Public Safety, and because of the generous co-operation received from the of- 
ficers of that department it was possible to apprehend many violators in the 
open waters into which the small boats could not venture. Several small boats 
with out-board motors attached, located in lakes and streams in different parts 
of the State, likewise did good service. The accumulated experience of years 
emphasizes the need of one or more specially constructed boats for patrol work 
along the shore. 



P.D. 25. 7 

Co-operation. 

While the result of public co-operation has been noted above in a general 
way, more specific mention may well be made of the assistance received by 
wardens from the various local police departments. The demands of brevity 
will not allow a recital of the instances in which these officers — and in some 
cases deputy wardens on our volunteer force, were responsible for or materially 
aided in the apprehension and prosecution of violators. The U. S. Game Warden 
for this district availed himself of every opportunity to be of assistance, and 
our appreciation of this found expression in the many instances M'here our 
wardens detected and reported violations of the federal migratory bird laws. 

Legislation. 

Laws to accomplish the following were enacted by the General Court of 1923 : — 

Chapter 15, to repeal the special smelt law in the town of Rowley. 

Chapter 35, to prohibit the use of beam and otter trawls in certain waters 
adjacent to Martha's Vineyard. 

Chapter 68, to place the burden of proof on aliens to show their right to 
possess firearms or secure a license. 

Chapter 99, to prohibit the use of all snares for taking animals. 

Chapter 144, to allow cities and towns to pay their local fish and game war- 
dens not exceeding $100 per year. 

Chapter 182, closing the season on quail in Hampshire, Norfolk and Worces- 
ter counties until 1925. 

Chapter 185, to require trappers to report annually to the fish and game 
division. 

Chapter 212, to place a close season on pike perch between February 1 and 
April 30, a 12-inch catch limit, and to prohibit sale. 

Chapter 268, to prohibit sale of all fresh- water fish; to make permanent the 
12-inch law on pickerel ; to place a close season on horned pout from March 1 
to June 15 and on yellow perch from March 1 to April 1; to change the catch 
limit of white perch from a weight basis to a numerical basis. 

Chapter 269, to prohibit the sale of brook trout and place an 8-inch catch 
limit on brown and rainbow trout. 

Chapter 301, to authorize the Commissioner of Conservation to accept in 
trust gifts of land and money for fish and game work. 

Chapter 307, to make the state laws relating to migratory birds conform with 
the federal regulations. It also prohibits the use of a rifle, revolver or pistol on 
migratory birds; restores a uniform open season in all parts of the state, and 
restores state supervision over the possession and sale of migratory waterfowl. 

Chapter 40, to protect the shad in Palmer's River along the same lines as by 
the Rhode Island law. 

The recommendations made to the General Court of 1924 will be found in 
the Appendix. 

EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY. 

The usual educational and publicity work was pursued by the law enforcement 
organization, and consisted principally of illustrated lectures depicting various 
phases of fish and game propagation and the problems of law enforcement and 
conservation. The increased demand for these lectures from year to year from 
sportsmen's organizations, fraternities and school authorities indicates a whole- 
some interest in the cause. 

The customary exhibit of live fish was put on in the divisional quarters 
at the State Building at the Eastern States Exposition grounds at Springfield 
and proved a source of great interest. No other exhibition work was attempted. 

Timely articles were contributed to the press, acquainting the public with 
changes in the_ laws, fishing and hunting seasons, and giving other information 
concerning the work of the division and general conditions throughout the State. 



S P.D. 25. 

BIOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT. 

On the resignation of Dr. David L. Belding on March 1, Mr. J. Arthur Kitson 
succeeded him as biologist. 

The greater portion of the year's work was concentrated on the problems 
connected with the stocking of the covers and waters, which is being recognized 
more and more as a biological problem. (See " Fish and Game Distribution "). 
In addition, autopsies and routine pathological examinations were made of 
waterfowl killed through contact with oil, diseased birds, fish and shellfish. Out- 
breaks of disease, or unusual conditions at the hatcheries, were studied and 
treated. Data was collected on the shellfish fisheries (more fully set forth under 
" Mollusk Fisheries ? ') : stream surveys were made in connection with the dis- 
tribution of fish. The work of restoring the ale wife fisheries was carried for- 
ward by the installation of additional fishways and by plantings of mature ale- 
wives (for details of which, see "Fishways" and "Alewife"). 

WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS. 

Winter Feeding. 

Field conditions in the winter of 1922-3 were very unfavorable for wild life. 
The winter, even into March, was a succession of storms and northeast gales of 
snow, rain, sleet, wind and low temperatures. The snow accumulated to great 
depths, effectually locking away the food and gravel from the ground-feeding 
birds. All agencies interested in wild life united in a determined effort to help 
the birds through by supplying emergency rations during the worst periods. 
Contributions of money from individuals amounted to $51 and were expended 
in addition to the $600 from State funds. Many of the associations and workers 
financed their own work. While there must inevitably have been a large loss of 
bird life, yet spring showed good numbers of oreeders, in excellent condition. 
Xo serious situation arose for the sea fowl. Wardens put out feed around the 
fresh-water holes, and no unusual winter mortality was noted. 

Breeding Season. 

Conditions in the breeding season were very favorable for a good production, 
the weather being good, not excessively cold, and no prolonged rains or damp 
periods, and few woods fires. By reason of the dry summer weather an unusual 
percentage of the young reached maturity. 

Fires. 

The loss to wild life on account of woods fires must have been far less than 
last year, for (with the exception of two large fires) the acreage thus burned 
over in the breeding season was far behind the record of last year. Advantage is 
taken of every opportunity to remind hunters and fishermen of the obligation to 
use care with respect to fires, and that fires are a direct menace to their sport. 
Certain clubs do this by post-card reminders to their members and local sports- 
men. The summer-long drought made necessary the closing of the hunting 
season, as set forth elsewhere. 

Posted Land. 

It is never possible at any time to give a complete survey of what is actually 
taking place in the attitude of the land owners. It may frequently be noticed 
that in a given county in a particular year there will be a large amount of posted 
land, with a much more liberal attitude the year following. There is very easy 
to discern, however, a steady absorption by individuals and clubs of the desirable 
hunting and fishing grounds. For example, we had the spectacle this year of the 
president of a fish and game association informing us that it would be useless 
to ship brook trout to his club this year, because every trout stream of any value 
within the section represented by the club had been posted against fishing. 



P.D. 25. 

Migratory Birds. 

Song and Insectivorous Birds. 

Permits were issued to 68 persons for the collection of birds, eggs and nests 
for scientific purposes, sixty-six reports were made, showing 267 birds and 681 
eggs had been taken. To persons acting for the Biological Survey in determining 
facts concerning bird migration, 246 bird banding permits were issued. (See 
Law Enforcement for protective work.) 

Every year we are compelled to disappoint certain individuals who desire to 
make collections of birds and eggs for private use. Our aim is to issue permits 
only in those cases where the cause of science will be tangibly advanced, or 
young students encouraged to train for scientific research as a profession. 

Migratory Game Birds. 

Shore Birds. — There was nothing extraordinary about the spring movement 
of shore birds. The continued dry, fair weather through the late summer and 
fall caused a " spotty " migration. The usual numbers of birds were found in 
favorable localities at the opening of the season. These were practically all 
taken by the gunners within the first day or two, and from that time on there 
was only scattering shooting. It was later than usual when birds were seen in 
numbers, especially winter yellow legs and black-breasted plover. 

Plover. — The spring migration of black-breasted plover was heavy on the 
north shore, where there was a large flight in May, also heavy locally on Cape 
Cod; elsewhere in the State, about as usual. Upland plover showed decidedly 
increased numbers, and there were at least as many killdeer and piping plover 
as last year, with local increases. 

Snipe. — A scattering flight of Jack or Wilson snipe appeared in the spring 
in no more than ordinary numbers, and smaller in spots. Of the red-breasted 
snipe there was only a scattering along the southeast coast. In the fall, because 
of the excessively dry season, most of the snipe grounds were too dry to attract 
and hold the birds, resulting in but little shooting. In a few favored places, and 
rather late in the season, some birds were killed. 

Woodcock. — The spring flight was well distributed over the entire State, and 
heavier than has been noted for several years. One reason for this may have 
been the rather favorable weather conditions in Massachusetts and the backward 
conditions further north, which tended to slow up the birds on their migration 
after striking this region. Eventually the most birds moved northward, though 
more bred here than usually is the case. 

The fall flight was difficult to judge, for the country was so dry that in many 
regions the condition of soil and cover was very much changed. The flight was 
less clearly defined and fewer birds were shot than usual, but it is believed that 
the birds changed their locations to such an extent that many flight birds were 
overlooked. As a whole the movement was considerably later than usual. The 
indications are that the woodcock is at least holding its own, if not increasing. 

Rail. — Good numbers of rail appeared on the spring flight. The dry condi- 
tions of the late summer and fall caused the birds to move off earlier than usual. 

Sandpipers. — The spring and fall migrations of sandpipers showed no 
marked or unusual features. The numerical gain since Federal protection was 
given, is maintained. 

Winter and Summer Yellow Legs. — Large numbers of both winter and sum- 
mer yellow legs were observed on the northward migration, at the usual time, in 
a steady flight. A large flight of both appeared on the north shore May 17. 

On the opening of the shooting season August 16 there was good shooting in 
many places, with the usual number of winter yellow legs mixed in with the 
summer yellow legs. At some localities, such as points on the north shore, th>.! 
numbers were disappointing. Later in the season winter yellow legs showed in 
good numbers, but scattering, with few bag limits taken at any particular time. 

Hudsonian Curlew. — Of the larger birds the curlew appears to be the only 
one holding its own, and perhaps slightly increasing in numbers. This is ob- 
served in both the spring and fall flights. 



10 P.D. 25. 

Wildfowl. — Since the abolishment of spring shooting, and the closing of all 
seasons the first of January, more and more birds are wintering in the coastal 
waters, especially whenever the winter is reasonably open. Despite the hard 
winter, large numbers of geese, red-heads, blue-bills and some canvasbacks win- 
tered, especially in the region of Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds. 

The spring migration had no unusual features. 

The fall migration was very unsatisfactory; but few geese were killed. The 
pond fowl, — the term commonly used to designate blue-bills, red-heads, can- 
vasbackj widgeon and whistlers, — were present in fewer numbers and did not 
decoy as readily as usual. 

Ducks. — The usual number of black ducks was reported during the spring 
and breeding season. For a short time after the opening of the shooting season 
they were quite plentiful in some localities, especially on the south shore and the 
outlying islands. There was less shooting on the north shore than for a couple 
of years. Reports indicate that in some localities there was an abundance of 
birds, but the kills at even the best equipped shooting stands were not up to the 
past records. Owing to the mildness of the season but few of the large northern 
ducks appeared prior to November 30. 

The wood duck is increasing, and more reported than for a number of years. 

The mallard duck is only an occasional visitor, and not an important factor 
in the shooting of this region. 

The spring flight of red-heads was heavier than usual, but during the early 
part of the open season comparatively few had arrived. 

The canvasbacks, which are also a minor consideration, were unexpectedly ob- 
served in small numbers in some of the inland ponds, with but few along the shore. 

The spring flight of blue bills was rather heavier than ordinary, but up to the 
time of the closing of this report had not appeared on the fall flight in usual 
numbers. They were wary, did not decoy well, and the shooting Avas not up to 
expectations. 

The spring migration of the scoters was normal, but the fall migration did not 
materialize in many localities. Though large flocks were observed going down 
outside, the shooting was ordinary. 

Geese. — In spite of the small numbers of geese that were seen on the 1922 
fall migration, the spring movement following shoAved no serious diminution. 
It seemed to be about an average year, with no marked increase or decrease over 
recent years, and on the Avhole, steady. According to reports from fishermen off 
Nantucket many flocks passed out to sea. 

The fall flight Avas disappointingly small up to November 30. Why the geese 
failed to appear Avas a mystery to the oldest gunners. No large moA'ements at 
any time Avere reported. 

Brant. — There Avas an unusually large number of brant, locally estimated at 
a thousand, around Nantucket in the spring, and they remained until about the 
25th of June. The fall flight opened with the appearance of a good-sized bunch 
around October 20. Many flocks passed by Avithout stopping — young birds 
first and large ones later, not so numerous as last year, but still good numbers. 

Statistics of the Gunning Stands. — Number of stands operated, 115; geese 
shot, 3,672; ducks shot, 9,930; live goose decoys, 3,854; Avooden goose decoys, 
3,751; live duck decoys', 5,412; Avooden duck decoys, 3,509. 

Migratory non-game Birds — Gulls and Terns. 

No Avarden protection Avas giA^en the breeding terns this year. The gulls and 
terns are so widely scattered along the coast that a larger force than Ave could 
finance Avould be required to give them complete protection. For some years past 
Ave have stationed a special temporary Avarden on the larger colonies in breeding 
time to reduce the vermin and preA'ent disturbance by man. Our activity over a 
period of years has spread the knoAvledge that these birds are protected, and in 
spite of the adA'erse circumstances Avith Avhich the terns and gulls — as all other 
Avild life — must contend, they are maintaining themselves reasonably well. A 
close Avatch of the situation will be continued, and protection resumed in any 
colonies Avhere it appears imperative. 



P.D. 25. 11 

Federal Control of Migratory Birds. 

At the beginning of the period of this report the Public Shooting Ground- 
Game Refuge Bill, representing the second great step in the protection of migra- 
tory birds through the federal government, was still in Congress. Early in 
December of 1922 it passed the Senate with every prospect of passage in the 
House, but parliamentary tactics from organized opposition which existed 
through misunderstanding of the provisions of the bill, defeated it by a narrow 
margin. A new draft of the bill has been prepared to be introduced in De- 
cember of 1923. 

Upland Game. . 

The Hunting Season. 

Throughout the summer there had been practically no rain, and by mid- 
October the woods were dry, the ground parched to a great depth, and the sur- 
face of the ground like tinder; swamps were dry or nearly so, and the fire peril 
a serious one. Conditions being as they were, His Excellency the Governor, un- 
der authority conferred on him by sections 29-31, Chapter 131, General Laws, 
suspended the season for the hunting of all kinds of game and animals from 
sunset of Oct. 19 until further notice. This was made public Oct. 16, that the 
sportsmen might have advance notice. On the 18th, 19th and 20th came rain 
sufficient to remove all danger, and a second proclamation lifted the ban at noon 
on the 20th and extended the open season on upland birds until noon on No- 
vember 21. Though the season had been closed in other years, this is the first 
time it has been lawful (by the amendment of 1922) to restore the lost days. 

Pheasants. — Though the winter was severe the pheasants which had survived 
the open season came through with no great loss, and spring found a good stock 
of breeders in nearly all sections. A scarcity of cocks was noted in some places, 
and there were reports of large flocks of hen pheasants, from 5 to 20, with only 
one or at most two male birds. This led in some cases to infertile eggs and 
poor production. This, too, may account for some of the reports of small and 
late broods. But on the whole a good production was indicated, and it was com- 
mon to hear of numerous broods of young of good average size. Throughout 
the open season field conditions were very favorable for hunting, and the total 
number of pheasants reported killed was 2,283, divided as to county as follows : 
Barnstable, 14 ; Berkshire, 38 ; Bristol, 144 ; Essex, 303 ; Franklin, 79 ; Hampden, 
170; Hampshire, 192; Middlesex, 476; Nantucket, 52; Norfolk, 196; Plymouth, 
142; Suffolk, 3; Worcester, 470; locality not reported, 4. 

Ruffed Grouse. — More grouse were left over at the close of the 1922 open 
season than for many years, and the winter-loss was slight in spite of the deep 
snows and hard Aveather. Spring found the covers well stocked with breeders, 
apparently strong and virile; weather conditions were excellent, except- 
ing in a few localities, and even in those cases no great losses resulted, 
and reports were general in the summer, of large broods of well-grown young. 
The dry weather of the summer was favorable to their growth, and at the open- 
ing of the hunting season grouse were more numerous all over the range than 
had been the case for a good many years. Large coveys were the rule, and the 
young well grown and hardly distinguishable from the older birds. Owing to 
the summer drought the grouse worked into the swamps to quite an extent. 

The gunning season opened with several rainy days and foliage still heavy 
on the trees over most of the State. While there was a liberal supply of birds 
in the covers, the unusual weather conditions had caused them to scatter more 
evenly over the country than is generally the case; so that, while good sport was 
afforded, it was unusual to move large numbers of birds in any one day. 

Quail. — In the counties closed to quail shooting (Dukes, Essex, Hampden, 
Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk and Worcester) the situation is un- 
changed (with one exception) and the quail continues to be very scarce — scat- 
tered small flocks, or pairs. It is noticeable that the stock in these counties pro- 
duces very few young, and they make little or no gain. The exception is Dukes 
County, which is steadily becoming repopulated with quail. There the winter- 



12 P.D. 25. 

kill was practically nothing, and large broods were seen, though the breeding 
season had been damp and foggy. In June, calls could be heard in all direc- 
tions, and the quail were reported as very numerous. 

In the limited section of the State where the quail thrive, it was a good year. 
The winter of ] 922-3, though marked by severe weather and heavy snows, was 
not accompanied by any unusual loss of quail stock, owing to the absence of 
crust, and spring found them uniformly plentiful over the whole present range 
as well as in sections from which they had disappeared. The flocks were of good 
size and the birds in good condition, and with the favorable weather conditions 
there was an excellent production. The summer was dry and favorable to their 
growth, and when the gunning season opened the covers contained good num- 
bers of well-grown birds. The quail ran true to form this year, taking long 
flights when disturbed and affording limited gunning at the best. The clever- 
ness of this bird in eluding the gunner makes it certain that it will never, with 
our short season and limited bag, be exterminated by the gun. Severe winters 
and vermin are the greatest agencies of destruction. 

Deer. — The figures for the open season on deer coming within the period of 
this report (Dec. 4-9, 1922) were: 1,581 deer killed, (922 bucks and 659 does), 
449 in excess of the previous year, and the largest kill since 1913. They were 
divided as to county as follows : 

Barnstable, 66; Berkshire, 284; Bristol, 47: Essex, 22: Franklin, 318; Hamp- 
den, 183; Hampshire. 179; Middlesex, 44; Norfolk, 11; Plymouth, 91; Worces- 
ter, 334; locality not given, 2. Over the greater part of the State the deer 
season opened with clear, cold weather and bare ground. On the second day 
a light fall of snow was favorable to the hunters, followed by bitter cold, high 
wind and rain, with clear weather the end of the week, though a crust formed 
which made noisy hunting and kept the deer on the move. The number of 
hunters was unusually large; the season was free from accidents; the laws were 
well observed (including the enactment of 1922 prohibiting dogs in the field 
during the deer week) and few crippled deer were reported after the season. 

Notwithstanding the lars-e number shot and the unusually large number 
(mostly does with fawn) run down and killed by dogs in the deep drifts of the 
winter of 1922-3, deer were present in at least usual numbers, some sections re- 
porting a distinct increase, deer in new localities, and unusual numbers of 
fawns. Deer shot while damaging crops numbered 109; and towns were reim- 
bursed bv the commonwealth for claims paid for damage by deer to the amount 
of $5,811.65. 

Moose . — Moose have not made themselves conspicuous in any way during the 
year. They are not increasing noticeably, though a few calves are known to 
have been born. They are seen from time to time, but there were no complaints 
of damage, and no compensation claimed. 

Squirrels. — It is difficult to know what is taking place among the gray 
squirrels. Keports vary widely. It is reasonable to suppose, however, that they 
have been driven from the chestnut woods by the death of their host trees and 
have taken to the scrub oak sections and to scattered clumps of hickory along 
the roadsides and in the open. In their search for food they are venturing more 
and more into orchards and residential sections. Thus they are more commonly 
seen, and probably the reported increases are more apparent than real. 

Hares and Babbits. — Over a large part of the State the native rabbits have 
maintained their numbers well. In northeastern Massachusetts, however, and in 
the west-central section a scarcity was noted. It is gratifying to have reported a 
good breeding season for white hares in some localities. 

Fur-bearing Animals. — Chapter 185, Acts of 1923 provided that report* 
should be made to this Division of fur-bearing animals trapped or killed, from 
which value or profit is obtained. The returns for 1923 show: Number of re- 
ports, 644; muskrat, 9,128; mink, 983; skunk, 3,334; fox, 1,200; raccoon, 655: 
squirrel, 94; weasel, 109; otter, 18; total, 15,521. 

It is apparent that the fur-bearing animals have not re-established themselves 
after the excessive trapping during the period of high prices a few years ago. 
There are large areas in the State which, if properly protected and eonserva- 



P.D. 25. 13 

tively trapped, should yield substantial returns in fur, and we believe a close 
season for a year or two on muskrats would be very beneficial. There are some 
localities where the muskrat must be eliminated or reduced to small numbers, 
particularly on the Cape, where large dikes on cranberry bogs are maintained. 
But it is safe to say that additional protection for a couple of years would do 
much to build up an asset of value without corresponding injury to other wild 
life. 

Up to the present time public sentiment has refused to give the fox protection 
during the breeding season. Despite this lack, it is increasing. It is to be re- 
gretted that the number of fox hunters in the State is not larger, especially 
those who own and hunt their own dogs. "We have always emphasized the 
economic value of the fox, while at the same time admitting the destructiveness 
of certain individuals. If it were hunted and trapped more it would afford some 
of the finest sport to be had in the field, and a large fox-hunting fraternity 
might be one of the best guarantees to the public that the species would be kept 
within reasonable numbers if given the same protection extended to other fur- 
beare*rs. 

Enemies to Game. 

Starlings continue to increase and are seen in large flocks. In some sections 
they appear to do little harm ; but in others complaints are heard of damage in 
the grain fields. In towns and cities they are replacing the robins. The increase 
is unchecked, as there is no incentive for gunners to spend ammunition on them. 

Bounties of $5 each were paid on 52 wild cat, Canada lynx or loupcervier un- 
der Section 90, Chapter 131, General Laws. They are increasing throughout all 
New England, and already presenting a great problem with respect to white 
hares and deer. They are difficult to hunt and trap, and doubtless before long 
it will be necessary to offer a bounty sufficiently large to insure their systematic 
reduction. 

The hunting house cat still continues to be one of the greatest destructive 
factors to wild life, and the number is steadily increasing. 

There has been no appreciable increase of any species of the hawks or owls 
classed as vermin. 

There was some agitation from certain quarters over alleged destruction of 
trout by black-crowned night herons and great blue herons at hatcheries and 
along trout streams, and the large herons are charged with the destruction of 
large numbers of fingerlings when the brooks are low. The issuance of Federal 
permits to shoot them, where necessary, was suggested as a remedy. It is true 
that they are present in large numbers where fish are to be found, and there is 
plenty of evidence that they do feed on trout; yet it is still unproved whether 
their main food is trout, or whether they feed also on minnows, herring and 
less valuable species, for no systematic investigations have been conducted to 
determine the facts Plans are being made with the Biological Survey for a 
study of the stomach contents of some of these herons. 

Reservations. 

Martha's Vineyard Reservation. 

The expiration of the lease of the portion of the reservation which the com- 
monwealth does not own brought up the question of its renewal. In this con- 
nection it seemed advisable to pause and consider the status of the heath hen, 
both as to what had been accomplished in the past, and what appeared to be its 
future. In surveying the situation the f olio wing facts appeared — 

The heath hen had been given special protection by the State since 1907. A 
sanctuary of 1,864 acres (564 State-owned and 1,300 leased) had been main- 
tained, located on and around the area chosen by the heath hen as their last 
stand. It included both the typical scrub oak country of Marthas Vineyard and 
extensive areas of grassland, and sufficient land was cultivated each year to 
provide standing feed for the birds in winter and green food at other seasons. 
A resident caretaker was in charge who carefully patrolled the reservation 
against vermin, and illegal shooting was practically nil. In short, the aim had 



14 P.D. 25. 

been to maintain conditions that would be as nearly ideal for the heath hen as 
possible. Varying sums, running as high as $5,000 in 1914 and thereafter an 
average of about $4,000 yearly, had been expended by the State, totalling up to 
the beginning of 1923, $48,185.54. 

What had been the result of this 15 years of care? When the reservation was 
started in 1907 it was estimated that there were from 75 to 100 heath hens left 
on the island. Since that time they had increased with wide fluctuations. Esti- 
mates of their numbers had run, in some years, as high as 2,000. For a period 
of years following a very destructive forest fire in 1916 they had gradually in- 
creased and then decreased, until in January, 1923, at the time of this review, it 
was estimated that there were not more than 150 heath hens on the island. 
(This estimate, however, was too high, as proved by the spring census a couple 
of months later). This despite the fact that in recent years there had been no 
disastrous fires or excessive visitations of vermin, and conditions had been 
maintained on the reservation as above. During the last few years, since the 
birds had become scarce, yearly counts have been made either by the State 
Ornithologist or our agents, each spring, by visiting the known haunts of the 
birds and counting the number of individuals in sight when they are in the 
open for their mating antics. While such a census is by no means complete, it 
gives a basis for estimate. In 1917 the count was 126; in 1918, 155; in 1919, 
165; in 1920, no census, as bad weather kept the birds under cover; m 1921, 
314; in 1922, 117; and through the winter of 1922-3 they had been unusually 
scarce. 

With the above facts before them, the fish and game officials were obliged to 
face the question whether the citizens of the commonwealth, whose interests they 
represent and whose money they disburse, would consider it justifiable to con- 
tinue to invest several thousand dollars yearly of the public funds in what was 
apparently a losing cause, when the same amount, used in other ways, would 
stock the island with other varieties of game, from which perhaps a greater 
portion of the tax-paying public would derive benefit and pleasure. In order 
to guard against the introduction of disease among the heath hen no game 
birds (except quail) had been liberated on the island since the establishment of 
the reservation. 

Following the established policy of taking the public into our confidence and 
asking advice and suggestions when crises of this sort arise, a statement of facts 
was prepared, and a questionnaire, setting forth a number of possible courses. 
These were sent to about 100 persons, including the original subscribers to the 
heath hen fund, the local town governments, sportsmen, conservationists, the 
State ornithologist, the State and National Audubon Societies, the American 
Ornithologists' Union, as well as some of the foremost ornithologists of the en- 
tire countrv. The propositions submitted to them were : — 

1. Shall the lease of the Cromwell property be discontinued and that portion 
of the reservation given up? 

2. Shall the State-owned land of 564 acres be continued as a heath hen reser- 
vation as in the past, with the addition of a limited amount of pheasant breeding 
for stocking Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket? 

3. Or, shall the protection of the heath hen be abandoned and the island 
stocked with quail and pheasants to provide upland game shooting, so far as 
unposted land will permit? (This being done after specimens of the heath hen 
have been prepared and deposited in museums to preserve them for science). 

4. Or, shall we do all possible to keep the reservation as attractive as possible 
for the heath hen, to preserve them as long as possible? 

5. Would you advise a general conference to be held at the State House, to 
discuss these questions? a -\r 

Sixty-five replies were received, 49 favoring continued protection and 10 
taking the contrary view. 

Various suggestions were received, but practically all were already m opera- 
tion. The proposal for an intensive biological study of the heath hen could not 
be adopted for financial reasons, but Dr. John C. Phillips of Wenham and 



P.D. 25. 15 

others came forward with an offer to finance such a study. Prof. Alfred 0. 
Gross of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me., was selected and went to the island 
in April, spending much time on the ground during the spring and summer and 
returning at intervals during the remainder of the year. His report will not be 
made until a full year's observations have been recorded, and the future policy 
of the Division will be determined to some extent by his findings and recom- 
mendations. Meantime, with sentiment so overwhelmingly in favor of protection, 
the lease was renewed for another year, the reservation continued as in the past, 
and all interested persons so notified. 

Following is the reservation report for the year: 

The usual patrol work and the hunting of vermin occupied the winter months. 
The unusually severe winter which prevailed over the State did not extend to 
Martha's Vineyard, and feeding of quail and heath hen was necessary on only a 
few occasions. Spring work, consisting of the planting of crops for birds and 
live stock, along Avith the repairing of roads, progressed as usual. 

The spring census of 1923 gave 46 birds en May 3 by actual count. 

The weather conditions in the breeding season were very good. The super- 
intendent saw 2 broods of heath hen and heard of another, 11 chicks all told. 
Though a careful watch was kept during the time the birds were in the open, 
very few females were observed and the inference is that the greater proportion 
of the surviving birds are males. But 5 heath hens have been seen on the res- 
ervation since early summer to the time of this report, and reports from farmers 
and others on bordering farms account for about 30 more. 

Very many visitors called at the reservation during the spring and summer as 
a direct result of the publicity given by the press to the investigation in progress. 
No fires occurred to affect the heath hen. The total kill of vermin was 15 wood 
cats, 211 rats, and 8 hawks. 

Myles Standish State Forest. 

Good progress was made in improving the condition of the roads and fire- 
stops. Wild life is increasing in spite of the constant struggle which must be 
maintained against vermin, and deer are becoming a serious menace to the young 
trees. 

There were 150 pheasants raised, 100 of which were liberated on the reserva- 
tion. The forest has been patrolled when it appeared necessary and in connec- 
tion with other work. There were no violations of law. 

Sharon Reservation — Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary. 

The conduct of the reservation proceeded on usual lines. Through the con- 
tinued co-operation of nearby owners over 600 acres of land, including two ponds 
suitable for wild fowl, have, during the past year, been added to the protected 
area which is now more than 1,500 acres. This land is thoroughly posted and 
patrolled, and a general observance of the game laws has been evident. 

The value of the co-ordinating work of the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 
the ownership and maintenance of the Moose Hill Bird Sanctuary near the cen- 
ter of this area can hardly be over-estimated. The improvements in the new 
headquarters; the making of new trails about the grounds; the valuable exhibits 
and library of information here maintained, and the setting out of shrubs and 
trees to attract and shelter the birds, — as well as the efforts to re-establish anrl 
protect vanishing wild flowers, — all are part of a general plan which is being 
carried out for a permanent sanctuary for all wild life. Through continued 
daily feeding many birds are in evidence about the sanctuary grounds through- 
out the year, thus rendering the opportunities for study and observation more 
and more valuable as the years go by. The public is showing a constantly in- 
creasing appreciation of these benefits, — evidenced by the increasing numbers 
of intelligent, interested visitors, totalling during the past year about 5,000. 
Banding of birds was carried on as usual for the U. S. Biological Survey. 



16 P.D. 25. 

Reservation under Sections 69-75, Ch. 131, Gen. Laws. 

Within the period of this report the terms for which the following reserva- 
tions were made, expired, and no petitions were received for renewal : Pittsfield 
Reservation expired Jan. 16; Hubbardston Reservation, Apr. 14; and Sconti- 
cut Neck Reservation Fairhaven, Nov. 6. 

A new reservation, known as the Harvard Forest Reservation, was established 
in Petersham for 5 years from Feb. 15, 1923. This land, about 700 acres, is 
owned by Harvard College and has been set aside as a preserve because of the 
Avonderful variation in its woodlands, its sightly locations and the unspoiled 
natural conditions. In order that the wild life in this forest may be likewise 
preserved it has been placed under the protection of this Division. 

To the reservation in Boxford was added, by gift of Dr. John C. Phillips of 
YVenham who deeded the land to the Commonwealth last year, an additional 
3 acres which makes it a solid tract. 

INLAND FISHERIES. 

General. 

This year marks an epoch in the history of our inland fisheries, for the pro- 
hibition of the sale of fresh-water fish taken in Massachusetts puts an end to the 
commercialization of our fresh- water fisheries, in the same way that in 1912 the 
sale of game killed in the State was stopped. The already existing protective 
measures (length, bag and seasonal limits) were improved by the placing of a 
closed season and catch limit on pike perch; closed season on horned pout and 
yellow perch; length limit for rainbow and brown trout; making permanent the 
12-inch limit on pickerel ; and changing the catch limit for white perch from a 
weight to a numerical basis. Now, for the first time, Massachusetts can claim a 
code of laws which gives at least a reasonable protection to its greatly abused 
fisheries. It will be many years before the rehabilitation of the fisheries is ac- 
complished, but with the incentive to fish for market removed and with both 
natural and artificial stocking proceeding, the outlook for the future is more 
promising than could be said before. 

Trout. 

In the section extending from the coast westward through Worcester County 
the early season for trout fishing was, on the whole, disappointing, being very 
dry, with low water and small catches. Essex County escaped the drought, 
water and weather conditions being favorable and fishing good. In the west- 
central, hilly section the season fell below standard, for the cold weather early 
in the season and the low water at the end, was unfavorable to the fishermen. 
The Berkshire section fared best. Though the season opened late on account of 
a very cold spring, Avith high water and low temperature, as the weather warmed 
up fishing improved and the trout ran well as to size. In summer all over the 
state streams became very low and many dried up early in June, but heavy 
rains improved conditions somewhat by August, after which again extreme dry- 
ness prevailed until October, drying up the smaller streams completely and 
bringing the larger ones very low. 

Concerning broAvn trout there is nothing neAV to report. The usual number 
of good catches Avere made. We are continuing the effort to build up a brood 
stock of broAvn trout at the Palmer Hatchery, but as practically all the hatch of 
1922 Avas lost, progress is sIoav at present. (See "Fish and Game Distribu- 
tion "). Legislation this year set the legal length of broAvn trout at eight inches. 

Chinook Salmon. 

So far as could be learned no Chinook salmon Avere taken in either Long Pond, 
Plymouth, Cliff Pond, BreAvster or Peters Pond, SandAvich. In Long Pond the 
white perch, bass and smelt Avhich Avere previously numerous have also dis- 
appeared. This is laid by popular belief to the salmon. The question is before 
us what line to folloAV in the future de\'elopment of this pond. On the one hand, 
a certain element urges the introduction of salmon fingerlings each year to 



P.D. 25. 17 

produce the 1 to 2-lb. fish that have afforded them good sport in fishing with a 
light fly rod and live shrimp. Land owners around the pond, on the other 
hand, oppose the salmon as detrimental to bass and white perch and favor the 
restoration of the latter fisheries. 

Pike Perch. 

The pike perch has proved to be, like the Chinook salmon, one of those species 
which has established itself in only a very small percentage of the waters into 
which introduced. Though many apparently favorable ponds were liberally 
stocked with fry over a period of ten years, it has been almost without result. 
A review of the fishing season of 1923 shows that good catches were made in 
Massapoag Lake, Sharon, which is about the only pond successfully stocked. 
This has consistently yielded good catches for a number of years, and fishermen 
frequently return more than their catch limit to the waters. In some waters 
which have yielded fair catches the fishing has fallen off to practically no catch. 
In the Connecticut River pike perch were taken only occasionally. In the Deer- 
field River fishing was not as good as some years. Our recommendation in 1922 
for protection was adopted, and the catch limit of 5 in one day, 12-inch length 
limit, and closed season from February 1 to April 30 should permit a better 
natural increase. No plantings of pike perch were made in 1923, this expensive 
work being discontinued, at least for the present. 

Pickerel axd Pike. 

Though large pickerel are still taken quite commonly in the State, it occurs 
in particular places and is not the prevailing condition. Many sections are re- 
porting that the pickerel are running small in size and decreasing in numbers. 
This is not surprising and is the natural result of a long period of excessive 
fishing, particularly winter fishing, with no replacement by artificial propaga- 
tion. We can only renew our statement of previous years, that until some re- 
striction is placed on the amount of winter fishing, the pickerel fishing in our 
ponds will continue to decline. The summer drought, which brought the ponds 
and brooks unusually low, doubtless worked much harm for it made possible the 
taking of quantities of the large breeders. In some places fish were stranded 
and died by reason of the drying up of the rivers and ponds. The Connecticut 
River and the Oxbow at Mt. Tom yielded good catches of pike, several being 
taken weighing in the neighborhood of 15 pounds. 

Bass. 

There were no unusual features to the bass season this year. Certain waters 
yield good catches. There appears to be an increasing demand for large mouth 
bass. It is not possible to propagate these by the usual hatchery methods, 
but we hope to produce them by the brood -pond method, now being de- 
veloped, and by capture of fry in such places as water supply ponds. It is 
our aim and object to develop bass fishing in suitable ponds as fast as circum- 
stances permit. 

White Perch. 

The stocking of the ponds of the State with white perch is continuing from 
year to year as a routine matter, and that it is not fruitless is proved by the fact 
that each year they begin to appear in a tew of the ponds in which stock has 
been planted. For account of the salvage work, see " Fish and Game Distribu- 
tion. " 

SilELT. 

Smelt work was limited to patrol of the only remaining spawning grounds of 
any importance on our coast, the Mill River and the Parker River on the North 
Shore, and the streams around Weymouth on the South Shore. 

The run in all the coastal streams was very poor, even in the Weir River, 
Hingham. and in the Weymouth Fore and Back Rivers, Weymouth. It was 
difficult to find any spawn except in the Weir River, and there, being deposited 
on flood water, much went to wa^te. In the Mill River and in the Parker River, 



18 P.D. 25. 

there were heavy runs and deposits of spawn for a few nights, and it is 
probable that there was a fair hatch. 

At Laurel Lake, Lee, and Onota Lake, Pittsfield, many people were on hand 
to secure the allotment of fresh- water smelt permitted under the Division's regu- 
lations, but the smelt were scarce. This reduction in numbers is in accord with 
the wishes of the local fishermen, who believe the lakes are over-supplied with 
bait fish. 

Horned Pout and Catfish. 

Field reports show that, while certain favorable waters yielded the usual good 
catches, for the State as a whole it is indisputably true that the horned pout are 
running small in size and fewer in numbers. The drying off of small, isolated 
ponds during the protracted drought resulted in heavy losses to the fish life and 
permitted an undue amount of adult stock to be taken, the effect of which will 
be apparent in the future. Several years ago we started to build up the stocks 
in the State, but the ponds are so many and our resources so small, that results 
cannot be expected for some years. The provision made by the last Legislature 
for a catch limit on horned pout of 40 in one day, and a closed season from 
March 1 to June 14, should in time help along the rehabilitation of the species. 

It is too soon to expect very definite results from the planting of catfish in 
1920 and 1922, though a few are beginning to show in the Connecticut River 
and one of the stocked ponds. A number of the catfish were caught out shortly 
after being planted, and before they had had a chance to breed. 

Bluegill, Calico Bass, Long-eared Sunfish* 

Bluegill sunfish for distribution were taken in salvage from General Butler 
Ames' Pond in Tewksbury and from the Stockwell Pond unit, and a limited 
number of Calico Bass and Long-eared sunfish from the former. It will be some 
years, however, before results of plantings will appear. 

Ice Fishing. 

Ice fishing was carried on to a less extent than for many winters. The season 
opened well with fair catches up to about the first of January. From that time 
on there was continuous cold weather, and heavy ice formed, making it difficult 
to cut holes, and the deep snow, which held all through the winter, made travel 
difficult and the ponds practically inaccessible. While it is possible that a very 
severe winter may automatically provide a closed season, in some sections of the 
state this is not true, especially in the eastern and the Cape Cod districts. The 
situation should not be left to chance, but some limitation should be made in the 
period of winter fishing. 

Ponds. 

Public Rights. 

There is a growing demand by the public for rights of way to the great ponds, 
and the question arises every year with reference to some particular pond. The 
matter will never be settled until there is further legislation, but as bearing on 
it the Attorney General recently handed down an opinion, of which his sum- 
mary of conclusions follows : ■ — 

1. Great ponds are ponds created by the natural formation of the land at a 
particular place, containing, in their natural condition, more than ten acres. 

2. Title to great ponds which had not before the year 1G47 been granted to a 
town or been appropriated to private persons is in the Commonwealth for the 
benefit of the public. 

3. Public rights in great ponds which are not appropriated to private persons 
are not limited to those mentioned in the Colonial Ordinances. Such ponds are 
devoted to such public uses as the progress of civilization and the increasing 
wants of the community properly demand. 

4. The public rights are common to all persons. 

5. Except during the period from 1835 to 1867 prescriptive rights in great 
ponds could not be acquired against the Commonwealth. 



P.D. 25. 19 

6. The Commonwealth and the public may acquire prescriptive rights in 
ponds which are privately owned. 

7. The control of great ponds is in the Legislature, which may regulate and 
change the public rights or take them away altogether. 

8. There is now no public right to fish in ponds containing twenty acres or 
less where such ponds are entirely surrounded by land of private riparian 
owners, or where the surrounding land is owned by private persons and the Com- 
monwealth or a county, city or town, and compensation has been paid by the 
private owners in accordance with the statutory provisions. 

9. The other public rights in great ponds, whether more or less than twenty 
acres in area, are not affected by the statute relative to fishing and exist in full 
force, except as they have otherwise been restricted by the Legislature. 

10. In ponds containing more than twenty acres in area, the public, in addi- 
tion to such rights as it had in the pond itself, has a right to reasonable means 
of access to such ponds for the purpose of fishing. 

11. In exercising the foregoing right the public may, where there are no 
means of access over unimproved and unenclosed land and no public lands or 
public roads or rights of way, pass in a reasonable manner over other lands of 
proprietors bordering on such ponds. 

12. The public, in order to gain access to great ponds for the purpose of ex- 
ercising the right of fowling, and possibly some other rights which reasonably 
may be supposed to have been contemplated at the time of the adoption of the 
Colonial Ordinance may, where there are no public lands, public roads or rights 
of way, pass and repass on foot over unimproved and unenclosed lands without 
rendering themselves liable as trespassers. 

Ponds Stocked and Closed. 

The following ponds were stocked under Section 28, Chapter 130, General 
Laws, and closed to winter fishing by regulations which in all cases expire 
November 1, 1 920 : Warner Pond, Greenwich ; Curtis Pond, Greenwich ; Winne- 
cunnet Pond, Norton; Little Alum Pond, Brimfield; Fort Pond, Littleton. The 
regulations close the ponds to all fishing except between May 30 and October 31, 
inclusive, of each year, and the tributary streams are closed except between April 
15 and July 31, inclusive. Fishing is allowed only with a hand line and single 
hook, or with a single hook and line attached to a rod or pole held in the hand. 

Privately-owned Ponds Stocked. 

The following privately-owned ponds were stocked with food fish on stipu- 
lation of the riparian proprietors that they will permit public fishing therein for a 
specified term of years : Neponset Reservoir, public fishing permitted to Decem- 
ber 19, 1932, except from Dec. 1 to Apr. 30 of each year; Bartlett's Pond, 
Leominster, fishing permitted to May 25, 1933; Carver's Pond, Bridgewater, 
fishing permitted to May 25, 1933. 

The following privately-owned ponds were stocked on written agreement by 
the owners to permit the Division in future to take an equal amount of stock 
from the resulting increase: Pond of John S. Lawrence, Topsfield, black bass; 
Pond of Herbert R. Wolcott, Springfield, horned pout. 

Fishways. 

The opening up of the alewife streams by the installation of fishways is pro- 
ceeding year by year, as fast as other activities will permit, and will continue 
until all the principal streams are open from headwaters to sea. The object is 
to produce in our coastal waters a quantity of young alewives which will pro- 
vide a food supply, and thereby attract the other migratory fishes which furnish 
human food, and to insure passage for other species which we know use the 
ways. In most instances the dam owners offer their co-operation, though there 
are still some who are unable to appreciate the necessity of this work and the 
value of these fisheries. 

During the run of alewives and other anadromous fish the functioning of all 
existing fishways Was carefully observed, and during the year the preliminary 



20 P.D. 25. 

work looking to the installation of new ones was pursued. Present efforts are 
directed to the opening of the Ipswich, the Saugus and the Parker Rivers. 

A considerable amount of experimental work was done towards inventing an 
automatic device for the regulation of the flow of water through the various 
hshways, — still in the experimental stage. 

Ipswich Fiver. 

Ipswich Mills. — Frequent observations failed to disclose any alewives in the 
river at the Ipswich Mills fishway; but even if present it is doubtful if they 
could have surmounted this fishway, owing to the high drop between the lowest 
compartment and low water level (due to high water in the spring). This con- 
dition has existed since the completion of this fishway in 1921. On July 11 
negotiations were re-opened with the owners, and they were asked to construct 
an additional compartment to the then existing fishway. They complied most 
willingly. The work was completed early in September according to plans 
furnished by this Division, and it is believed that there is now an adequate con- 
struction to pass the fish over the first obstruction on the Ipswich River, nearest 
the sea. 

Norwood Mills. — Plans and specifications for a fishway were submitted early 
in 1922, but no action has been taken by the owners towards complying. They 
have indicated a willingness to co-operate to install a fishway, but not of the type 
recommended. Installation has not been insisted upon up to this time on account 
of the non-completion of the Ipswich Mills fishway. With that now in working 
condition it is in order to proceed with the next two obstructions. 

Willowdale Dam. — Plans and specifications for a fishway were submitted 
early in 1922; but the owner objected to building it on the ground that there 
were obstructions below his dam, namely, at the Norwood and Ipswich Mills* 
This case will be taken up in its proper order as the opening of the river pro- 
ceeds. 

Saugus River. 

Wallace Nutting Dam. — The plans and specifications for a fishway at the 
dam of this company are nearly completed. 

Prankers Pond Fishway. — The Prankers Pond fishway has been repaired, 
and, while it was in working condition when examined, it does not look good 
for any length of service. 

Parker River. 

By field Woolen Co. — As a result of our action in submitting plans and 
specifications for a fishway to the Byfield Woolen Co., the companies repre- 
senting all of the obstructions on the river have asked that a conference be 
arranged at which the matter of fishways on the whole system may be considered 
at one time. 

Merrimack River. 

As it is of particular interest to know what takes place in the Merrimack 
River (so polluted that it was predicted no fish could live in it), now that the 
spawning grounds have been made accessible by fishways, a special observer 
was on duty at each fishway during the period when anadromous fish were 
passing up. High water in the spring and low water in the summer curtailed 
the period during which the ways could be kept open. 

Lawrence Fish way. — The fishway at Lawrence was kept open between May 
9 and June 30, during which time it was recorded that the following passed 
through, — 3,943 alewives, 1,717 shiners, 21 carp, and 651 miscellaneous fish. 
The number of different species using it this season showed a decided increase 
over the preceding year. 

Lowell Fishway. — At Lowell alewives first appeared on May 18. about a 
week earlier than last year, and ran up to June 13. At Lawrence they were 
first seen passing through the fishway on May 16, an interval of about 3 days 
before they reached the fishway at Lowell. In 1922 an interval of 9 days marked 
their passage up the river. Observations were made twice daily, and from May 
11 to June 25 there were recorded as having passed through the fishway, 910 
alewives and 166 shiners and dace. 



P.D. 25. 21 

Paskamansett River. 

The fishway installed last year at Russells Mills, South Dartmouth, was in- 
spected periodically, and considerable time spent in adjusting the flashboards 
and regulating the flow of water. A few alewives were seen in the fishway. 

Barker's River. 

Results at the fishway installed in 1922 by F. L. Snow at Pembroke justified 
our belief that it would prove a very practical fishway, for on May 6 there were 
counted 850 alewives in one hour, and on the 26th an inspection showed 25 to 40 
alewives passed the head of the fishway in one minute. The bog owners in this 
locality, as well as the selectmen, are co-operating in every way to restore this 
fishery. 

Taunton, Town, Satucket and Nemasket Rivers; Red Brook, Wareham and 
Plymouth, and Herring River, Bournedale. 

All the fishways on these rivers were in operation; observations were made 
periodically, and in most instances the ways were found to be operating effec- 
tively and a variety of fish surmounting in fair numbers. We are trying to hasten 
the restoration of the alewife fisheries of the Taunton River system by making 
yearly plants of mature alewives (for account of which, see "Alewives"). 

Easton Investment Co. — This is the first year that the fishway at the old 
Ames dam on the Town River at West Bridgewater, completed in November, 
1922, has been in operation. Periodical examinations showed it to be working 
very effectively, with the right amount of water passing through, and with a 
gradual surmounting to be made by the fish. 

Hanson Cedar Co. — In the course of reclaiming and transforming into cran- 
berry bogs some hundreds of acres of swamp and pond in Halifax and Hanson, 
a dam was constructed below Monponsett Pond, for flowage purposes. This 
would bar alewives from Robbins Pond (the headwaters of the Taunton River), 
which has recently been opened its entire length by installation of fishways. A 
conference between officials of the company and this division resulted in the 
construction of a concrete fishway consisting of a 2x2x15 ft. trough with 6-inch 
steps at intervals of 3 ft. When examined this spring it was functioning prop- 
erly, though no fish were seen at the time. 

Pollution. 

Such cases of pollution of fishing waters as came to our attention were 
handled along with the regular routine of business. 

Shellfish in Polluted Areas. 

Areas in Boston and Cohasset Harbors polluted by sewage were closed to the 
taking of shellfish. (See " Mollusk Fisheries.") 

Oil Pollution. 

Through the winter of 1922-3 large numbers of water fowl perished through 
contact with oil. Nantucket waters were badly polluted, and numbers of dead 
birds picked up daily. At Nantasket the unloading of crude oil into the harbor 
caused the destruction of about a thousand ducks. Conditions off Chatham are 
pictured in a letter from the Monomoy lighthouse keeper dated January 24 : 

" There are fully two to three thousand eider ducks in this vicinity, and I 
doubt very much indeed if there will be very many, if any, left to return to 
their native breeding ground in the north. I rode about 3 miles up the beach, 
north, this morning, and it was as much as I could do to keep clear of the ducks 
running over the beach to the tall beach grass where they go and hide, and in 
the end die; for they cannot fly on account of the oil. I do not know what re- 
sults would be if one undertook to walk from Chatham to this light along the 
beach, but I have every reason to believe that a good-sized team would be needed 
to put the dead and dying in. I assure you, I cannot express the condition of 
these birds on paper ; and though I have a very good glass here, I have failed to 
find one duck that is clear of the oil." 



22 P.D. 25. 

The destruction which threatens our shellfisheries, shore fisheries and water 
fowl through pollution of coastal waters by discharges of oil from oil-burning 
steamers, has been discussed in other reports. State law does not reach these 
cases, the pollution occurring largely outside the three-mile limit. Definite 
remedial measures, however, are under way. In August, 1922, the National 
Coast Anti-Pollution League was formed under the sponsorship of the New 
Jersey State League of Municipalities, composed of state and municipal officials 
and civic representatives from the coast states and cities. That organization 
supported a bill in Congress, the so-called Freylinghuysen- Appleby Anti-Pollu- 
tion Bill, which failed of passage by a narrow margin. A joint Congressional 
Resolution authorized the Secretary of State to call an international conference 
on oil pollution. An Interdepartmental Committee was formed to prepare 
necessary data, and the U. S. Bureau of Mines completed a survey of pollution on 
the entire coast, co-operating with the American Petroleum Institution and the 
American Steamship Owners' Association. To plan a further campaign a sec- 
ond conference was held at Atlantic City in October of 1923, attended by gov- 
ernment officials, port authorities, chambers of commerce, and similar bodies. 
Though not in attendance at the meeting, the director of this division was 
elected to membership on the Executive Committee. 

PROPAGATION OF FISH AND GAME. 

Fish Hatcheries and Game Farms. 

At three hatcheries, Sutton, Amherst and Montague, the disease appeared 
known as Furunculosis or fish septicemia, — in fingerlings only at the former, 
and in fingerlings and yearlings at the two latter. The disease is not likely to 
cause any great loss of fish at any of these stations, owing to the low temperature 
of the water. If past observations are to be relied upon, it will never take the 
epidemic form, though it is conceivable that under certain weather conditions, 
poor quality of fish, crowded pools, or special strains of the invading organism, 
an epidemic might result. The possibility is very remote, however. A thor- 
ough sterilization was made at the end of the season of all the pools in which 
the fish had shown evidence of the disease. 

The results of the year in the production of fish and game were very satisfac- 
tory, both as to amount and quality of product, with some improvement in the 
point of cost. For some time we have realized that an efficient operation of fish 
hatcheries and game farms is not attained in the mere production of a large 
amount of stock, but lies in doing it at a reasonable figure. That is to say, the 
production costs should not be disproportionate to the market value of the 
output. 

Palmer Fish Hatchery. 

Construction and improvement work was confined to improvements and addi- 
tions to trout pools, painting the tenement house, and grading. 

Small-mouth Black Bass. — The hatching and rearing of small-mouth black 
bass was carried on in the usual way. Experimental work is under way (suc- 
cessful this year, but to be repeated before permanent adoption) to make it 
possible to send out fry of a larger size. There were distributed 131,000 fry 
(one-inch), 30,000 two-inch and 38,335 three-inch fingerlings. 

Brook Trout. — The eggs for hatching comprised 100,000 eyed eggs from the 
Sandwich Hatchery, 19,000 from the wild stock at the station and 500,000 pur- 
chased. There were hatched and distributed the following — 66,400 fry to the 
Sutton Hatchery and 186,000 fry to the Amherst Rearing Station; 59,000 fin- 
gerlings to the Sutton Hatchery and 41,100 fingerlings to the Amherst Rearing 
Station, and a general distribution to public waters of 120,245 fingerlings 
(80,000 three-inch, 40,590 four-inch) and 12 yearlings. 

Brown Trout. — There were 201,000 brown trout eggs purchased which 
yielded 194,703 fry, from which 40,225 fingerlings were reared. Losses were 
large as the fry would not, at first, take liver as food, and the natural food in 
the water was insufficient. There were 39,225 distributed as 3^-inch finger- 



P.D. 25. 23 

lings, and 1,000 held to be reared for breeders. This is the second year of rear- 
ing of brown trout fingerlings at Palmer. The New York Conservation Com- 
mission contributed 520 fingerlings which were added to the brood -toek. 

Homed Pout. — Xo great attention was given to rearing horned pout at 
Palmer. The water supply and shiner ponds yielded 44,000 fingerlings, which 
were distributed along with the approximately 100,000 fingerlings purchased 
from private sources and handled from Palmer as a distributing center 
(80,000 2y 2 -inch and 64,000 4-inch). 

Blue Gills and Yellow Perch. — Distribution was made of 3,575 blue gills 
(2y 2 inch) reared the previous year and held in the ponds over winter, and 
4,000 (3^> inch) yellow perch fingerlings collected from the shiner pond. 

Amherst Bearing Station. 

Development work was continued throughout the year, including construction 
of shipping stand, permanent camp, improvement of existing ponds, construc- 
tion of new ones, and re-arrangements for the better utilization of the water 
supply. The development work has called for only a moderate annual expendi- 
ture, but has been fruitful of results. 

The opening of the station was delayed as long as possible on account of 
the great depth of snow, and work was started February 26 to prepare the 
station to receive stock. This consisted oil 186.000 fry and 41,100 fingerlings 
from Palmer ; 25,000 fry from Sandwich ; 204.400 fry from Montague, — all 
of satisfactory quality except one shipment of about 25,000 late fry. This 
amount did not fill the ponds, and part of the unusual room was utilized for 
1,610 yearlings shipped in from Montague. The condition and growth of the 
fingerling stock was good through the season, except lots infected by disease. 
As usual the early growth was slow, but after midsummer rapid and vigorous. 
This appears to be a fixed condition at this station, and in two respects adds to 
its value, for the fish make their growth on a food consumption that is well be- 
low the average, and at distribution are hardier than are fish in which early 
growth is rapid and then checked. Distributions totalled 235,000 fingerlings 
(180,000 three-inch, 35,000 three and a half inch, and 20,000 four-inch), and 
1,000 of the yearlings received from Montague. 

Montague Bearing Station. 

Construction work was largely limited to permanent items, including concrete 
bridges, water supply for shipping, and completion of the ice house building, 
workshop and storage. Improvement work included some extension of facilities 
for feeding early fry, by digging out pools among the springs, and improving 
the older pools by enlarging and deepening in the clean-out work. 

It was an excellent year for production. The egg-stock consisted of 1,000,000 
from commercial dealers, and 100,000 from the station brood stock. The in- 
creased hatching capacity made it possible to carry enough eggs to fully supply 
the station, and in addition to supply 204,400 fry to Amherst. To relieve the 
station and use available space elsewhere, 1,610 of the yearlings were trans- 
ferred to Amherst. There were sent out on general distribution 3,160 yearlings. 
The hatching and rearing work progressed normally, and the year's output of 
fingerlings was 387,500 for general distribution ( 258,300 three-inch, 60,000 
three and a half inch, and 69,200 four-inch), and 1,000 fingerlings held for 
brood stock. 

Sandwich Fish Hatcheries. 

At the Sandwich plant repairs were made on a number of the cement ponds, 
and several new wells driven to replace old ones. At East Sandwich the hatchery 
building was enlarged, four old pools replaced, and filling and grading done. 

A supply of 1,360,000 eggs was taken from the brood stock. The season was 
unusually successful, with no set-backs of any kind. Distributions were as 
follows : 



24 P.D. 25. 

Palmer Hatchery (eyed eggs), 100,000. 

Sutton Hatchery (1 to l^mch), 196,000. 

Amherst Rearing Station (1 to 1% inch), 25,000. 

Worcester Fish and Game Association (1 to 1*4 inch), 60,000. 

Canton Rearing Station (1 to l 1 /^ inch), 25,000. 

To public waters (250,000 three-inch, 100,000 three and a half inch, and 88,912 

four-inch), 438,912. 
Retained at hatchery for brood stock, 10,000. 
During the season distributed to public waters (adults), 2,899. 

Sutton Hatchery. 

At the Sutton Hatchery improvement work was carried on more or less con- 
tinuously throughout the year, and at some periods was the chief occupation. 
It included rather extensive repairs to the buildings, painting, repairs to sal- 
vage equipment, fitting and storage of the camp to be set up at Amherst, repairs 
and alterations to the ponds and water supplies, and improvements to the 
grounds. 

For rearing there were received 196,000 fry from Sandwich and 66,400 fry 
and 59,000 fingerlings from Palmer. Some of the earliest shipments were not 
of the best quality, unfit for long transportation and transfer to ponds under 
the very wintry conditions, and not less than 40,000 were lost directly after 
arrival. All other fish received were satisfactory and did well throughout the 
growing season. Distributions to public waters totalled 194,774 fingerlings 
(75,000 three inch, 75,000 three and one-half inch, and 44,774 four inch fish). 

Marsh field Bird Farm. 

The barn on the land purchased last year was remodelled into a grain room, 
and mixer installed. There were no few features in the rearing work. From 
the adult stock of the station there were contributed 131 pheasants to form the 
special flock of egg-producers at Wilbraham to provide eggs for distribution. 
(See Fish and Game Distribution). The station brood stock of 454 pheasants 
produced 13,242 eggs collected and set, of which 7,869 hatched. There were 
reared and liberated 3,828 young pheasants (with 434 on hand at the end of the 
year). There were liberated 210 adults. The bulk of the distributions were made 
by truck. 

Sandwich Bird Farm. 

The Sandwich Bird Farm is now conducted as a pheasant producing plant, 
with wood ducks and quail handled on a very small scale in continuance of 
breeding experiments. The work of remodelling the station was continued, 
completing ten 10xl6-ft. brooder houses with connecting pens and hot-water 
brooder system. The partly constructed cement incubator cellar was usable to 
some extent, and has since been completed with grain and storage rooms, work- 
shop and office above it. 

Pheasants. — The brood stock at the beginning of the laying season num- 
bered 381 from which 11,121 eggs were collected and set, with a hatch of 5,635 
chicks. From these were raised 2,074 of which 1,722 were distributed in the 
covers, 152 added to the brood stock, and 200 late-hatched birds held over winter. 
Twenty-five of this year's early hatched cocks were purchased and added to the 
brood stock to change the blood lines. Before the breeding season 26 adults 
were distributed, and during the fall 32 more adults. 

Wood Bucks. — Breeding birds on hand at the beginning of the season, 39 ; 
eggs collected, 133; hatched, 79; reared, 69; killed accidentally and lost, 14; 
distributed, 1 adult and 57 young; on hand, 8. 

Quail. — From a stock of 32 adults about 50 young were raised with ban- 
tams; 20 distributed; 30 on hand. Three adults sent out for experimental pur- 
poses. The 22 quail that survived from the shipment from Arkansas were liber- 
ated on Martha's Yinevard. 



P.D. 25. 25 

Wilbraham Game Farm. 

At the Wilbraham Game Farm rearing facilities were increased by the con- 
struction of five 10x20-ft. brooder houses, the replacement of temporary yards 
with ten permanent ones (20x48-ft.), and the addition of 3 incubators and 5 
coal-heated brooders. 

This station was made the headquarters for the production and distribution of 
the egg-stock. Towards this 176 adults were contributed. (See Fish and Game 
Distribution). 

Brood stock numbered 450 birds, from which 18,226 eggs were collected. 
There were set in incubators 17,963, and 8,775 hatched. All of the usual diffi- 
culties were experienced during the rearing season, some being overcome, and 
others still a problem. The dry, hot weather in the time of flight of the rose 
chafer was responsible for more damages than usual from this source. Eggs 
collected during the extremely hot period resulted in some very poor hatches. 
From the chicks hatched 3,816 were reared to distribution age and liberated, 
275 retained for brood stock, and 386 held for later distribution. Sixty adults, 
not part of the egg stock, were liberated at the beginning of the breeding season. 

Myles Standish State Forest Reservation. 

On the Myles Standish State Forest (see Reservations) 150 pheasants were 
raised, of which 100 were liberated. 

Field Propagation. 
Pond Cultural Methods. 

Past efforts in fish culture have been concentrated chiefly on production of 
brook trout and the re-stocking of brooks. The need of giving similar attention 
to the ponds has been recognized, and it is not intended to expand the work at 
the trout hatcheries materially beyond its present volume. Work for the pro- 
duction of pond fish is already under way. Probably this can best be accom- 
plished (as most pond fish do not respond to hatchery methods) by securing 
control of suitable ponds, stocking them with breeders of the desired species, and 
distributing the yearly increase. Following is the report of accomplishments 
thus far. 

Shaker Mill Pond. — All necessary repairs and construction having been 
completed in 1922, no work, aside from frequent inspection, was done during 
the first four months of 1923. A good body of water was held throughout the 
winter and the fish apparently came through in excellent condition. Although 
the summer's unprecedented drought completely dried the inlet stream ; it was 
possible to conserve a sufficient supply of water to sustain the fish without ap- 
parent loss, although it is very possible that the congestion, caused by the pro- 
longed period of low water, may have led to an abnormal destruction of fry 
by adult fish and aquatic birds. 

The brood stock in the pond was increased by 523 horned pout, 895 blue 
gills, 144 calico bass, 3 crappie, all adults, and 2,000 horned pout fry. A grati- 
fying number of young blue gills began to appear in the shoal water by the 
latter part of August. The nature of the bottom precludes observation of re- 
sults with the horned pout. The arrest and prosecution of three poachers last 
year has put an end to troubles from this source. No distributions were made 
this year. 

Stockwell Ponds. — The close of the year finds the construction work de- 
signed to make dams, embankments and other work water tight, well advanced 
so that it will require but a moderate amount of work annually for two or three 
years to reach the highest level possible in all the ponds. This has already been 
accomplished at the Putnam Mill Pond. The wheel pit was converted into a 
concrete-lined catching and sorting basin for convenience in handling fish, and 
to prevent escapes. These improvements made it possible, in spite of the 
drought, to keep the ponds at a higher level than during the preceding rainy 
year, greatly to the benefit of the fish life. 



26 P.D. 25. 

The small stock of native pickerel, perch and shiners living in the ponds when 
taken over had shown a rapid increase in the two years that the ponds were 
being flowed, and these were reduced by distribution to make the conditions 
more favorable for the introduced blue gill. The blue gills made a slow in- 
crease during these two years. They bred well, and the young thrived in the 
ponds, but the shallowness and fermentation of the water during the construc- 
tion period caused losses, and incomplete control when the water was drawn 
off permitted a considerable escape into Lake Singletary below. 

This year, the first that the ponds were in fair working condition, and the 
first year that a considerable brood stock had been put in, the production was 
very good, and the control work now being built made it possible to separate 
these readily from the other fish, and handle them without escapes. There were 
planted in the Stockwell Ponds as breeding stock 1,380 adult blue gills, 759 
horned pout (5 to 8 inches long). There wore distributed from the ponds 1,250 
fingerling pickerel, 4,095 adult pickerel, 2,900 adult yellow perch, 520 adult 
horned pout, and 32,000 fingerling and 40 adult blue gills. 

FISH AND GAME DISTRIBUTION. 

Fish Distribution. 

Distribution of the stock of fish from the hatcheries proceeded on the usual 
lines, with an increasing proportion of the work done by trucks. A system 
giving better team-work between the local clubs was worked out, which brought 
about a more even distribution of the stock turned over to them, and avoided 
duplication in stocking certain waters and the neglect of others simplv through 
lack of co-ordinated effort. More clubs than before supplied trucks and called 
at the stations for their allotments, thus releasing more funds for other much- 
needed work. A rough survey was made of the stream mileage, and the allot- 
ments sent into each county were based on the proportion of stream to the total 
amount of fish to be planted — following the plan already in operation for 
pheasant distribution. 

Distributions are shown in the tables at the end of this section, to which 
reference is made to supplement the following reports on species put out. No 
figures are given below which may readily be found in the tables. 

Brook Trout. — Owing to the shortage of eggs no plantings of eyed eggs in 
brooks were made. The production of fingerlings was well in excess of last year. 

Pike Perch or Wall-eyed Perch. — Pike perch work has been discontinued 
until the results of past stocking are more fully known. Up to this time the re- 
sults have been meagre as compared with the cost of the work. 

Small-mouth Black Bass. — Stock obtained by the salvage crew, together 
with the product of the Palmer Hatchery, comprised the supply for planting. 

Horned Pout. — There were purchased from a private dealer approximately 
100,000 horned pout fingerlings, which were delivered to the Palmer Hatchery 
and thence distributed. There were also available for stocking purposes 44,000 
which had either been held over from the purchased stock of the year before or 
produced this year at the Palmer Hatchery, together with a number of fry, 
fingerlings and adults secured in salvage work and from Stockwell Ponds. 

Broum Trout. — Further examinations were made to determine the suitability 
of certain streams in addition to those already designated to receive brown 
trout, having in mind (1) whether the water area to receive the fish was com- 
pletely isolated by natural barriers so as to prevent them from working into de- 
sirable brook-trout waters; and (2) the species of fish already in the streams. 
Pursuant to the plan to develop certain selected streams as brown trout waters, 
the crop of fingerlings raised at the Palmer Hatchery was divided among these 
waters: Konkapot River, New Marlborough; Farmington River, New Boston; 
Heath Brook, Billerica ; Westfield River at various points ; Manhan River, East- 
hampton; Flat Brook, Ware; Eagle Hill Brook, Wareham; Millers River, Athol. 

Blue Gills. — Fish collected by the salvage crew, together with the product 
of the Stockwell Ponds and Palmer Hatchery, comprised the stock for planting. 

Alewife. — The following plantings of adult spawning alewives were made 



P.D. 25. 27 

during the spring run in continuation of the effort to re-establish depleted fish- 
eries: — Ipswich River, Ipswich, 1,450; Ipswich River, Topsfield, 275; Mon- 
ponsett Lake, Halifax, 970; Stetson Pond, Pembroke, 286; Robbins Pond, 
East Bridgewater, 362; Lake Nippinicket, Bridgewater, 1,222; Carver Cotton 
Gin Works Pond, East Bridgewater, 337. The alewives were secured and dis- 
tributed by the salvage crew and wardens. 

White Perch. — White perch salvage and distribution was carried along on 
the usual plan. 

Salvage Unit. — The salvage crew continued the work of seining waters 
closed to public fishing for the purpose of re-distributing the stock into open 
ponds. There were added to the equipment two 10x4 ft. fyke traps and a 300x20 
ft. seine of one-inch mesh. 

With permission of the owners (whose generosity is gratefully acknowledged) 
the crew seined the following locations : 

Storage Reservoirs at Middleton, R. I., for white perch; Oyster Pond, Fal- 
mouth, for white and yellow perch; North Watuppa Lake, Fall River, for 
small mouth bass fry; General Butler Ames' Pond, North Tewksbury, for blue 
gills, calico bass, small mouth bass, horned pout fry and adults; North Town 
Reservoir, Fitchburg, for pickerel and yellow perch; Flagg's Pond, Brockton, 
for horned pout fry; pond on the lower Cape for adult horned pout. Also 
throughout the season small salvage jobs by the wardens yielded varied lots of 
fish. 

The fish taken in the salvage work were mostly of good size, a good propor- 
tion being of breeding age, and they were used as brood stock for the hatch- 
eries, for Shaker Mill Pond and the Stockwell Pond rearing units, and for gen- 
eral distribution. (See table following.) 

Fish Distribution, 1923. 

Product Not Hatchery 
of State F"*™*^™- 
Hatcheries ^g. Gift, Pur- 
chase, etc.) 

Brook Trout . 

Eggs 

Fingerlings 1,376,431 

Adults and yearlings 7,071 - 

Brown Trout: 

Fingerlings 39,225 ^ 

Adults 5 2 - 

Small Mouth Black Bass : 

Fry 131,000 137,000 

Fingerlings 68,335 - 

Adults ......... 5 2 818 

Calico Bass : 

Adults - 678 

Horned Pout : 

Frv - 28,400 

Fingerlings 44,000 1U8,810 

Adults 540 3 4,126 

White Perch: 

Adults 55,907 

Yellow Perch : 

Fingerlings 4,000 2,300 

Adults 2,900 32,500 

Pike Perch: 

Adults - 14 

1 350 eggs sent to educational institutions for experimental purposes. 

2 To exhibitions, and thence distributed. 

3 20 of these to exhibitions. 



28 



Fisli Distribution, 1923 — Concluded. 



P.D. 25. 



Blue Gills : 

Fingerlings 

Adults 
Sunfish : 

Fingerlings 
Roach : 

Fingerlings 
Pickerel : 

Fingerlings 

Adults 
Alewives : 

Adults . 
Miscellaneous species 



of r °stfe fJgS? 
Hatcheries ^M 



35,620 x 
43 2 


2,690 


- 


567 


- 


1,012 


1,250 
4,095 


757 
645 


- 


4,902 
146 



1,714,520 



381,272 



1 45 of these to exhibitions. 
2 3 of these to exhibitions. 
All finally distributed. 



Game Distribution". 



Pheasants. — An improved system or supplying applicants with pheasant 
eggs for hatching was put into operation. TEe previous practice had been for 
each station to secure its full quota for the year's work, distributing any sur- 
plus, — which, being later-laid, were less fertile. In order to give the public a 
grade of egg of the same excellence as those used for our own work, a special 
stock was established at the Wilbraham Game Farm of 307 breeders of Wilbra- 
ham and Marshfield stock. The sole 1 function of this flock was to produce eggs 
for distribution, and after the 8,040 eggs required to fill applications had been 
secured, the remaining birds, numbering 291, were liberated, still early enough 
to produce a brood in the open. 

The number of young pheasants distributed was 40.5% above last year's 
output. Auto truck distribution was continued, and two season's experience 
has demonstrated its worth, though to cover the long distances necessary 
in the delivery of 500 or more birds in a day. faster trucks are needed. 
The recently adopted plan of apportioning the output according to the amount 
of suitable cover in the county insures a fairer distribution than the former plan 
of alloting according to demand. 

White Hares. — Northern white hares from Maine were liberated to the 
number of 1,090. The best results from the liberated stock are sought by (1"> 
limiting the distribution to localities which have the required natural conditions, 
namely, laurel, hemlock or cedar swamps to give them protection, and snow- 
covered ground through the winter; (2) making the distributions later in the 
year, to avoid, as far as possible, turning the hares loose during the open season, 
to fall prey to gunners before they have had a chance to propagate. While 
some of the distributions of necessity came in the open season (the open season 
coinciding with the time of year when the animals can best be trapped), never- 
theless it was deferred sufficiently to allow over a month's shipments to come 
after the season's close. Allotments were made according to the survey of suit- 
able white hare cover made last year, shipments going direct from trapper to 
applicant. A change in the Massachusetts law now permits the importation of 
hares and rabbits for propagation purposes at any time of year, if legally 
captured. 



P.D. 25. 29 

Quail. — Through the courtesy of Judge Lee Miles of Arkansas 58 Bob White 
quail were shipped to the Sandwich Bird Farm. Nineteen were dead on arrival 
and 17 died afterwards, and the remaining 22 were liberated, together with the 
station's product. 

Game Distributions, 1923. 



Product 



Xot Hatchery 
Product 



Species and Size of State (Purchase, 

Hatcheries ^ift, etc.) 

Pheasants : 

Eggs 1 

Young ... .... 9,466 

Adult 619 4 

Wood Ducks : 

Young 57 2 

Adult 1 

Quail : 

Young 20 22 

Adult 3 

Miscellaneous 4 3 25 

White hares - 1,090 



10,170 1,141 



1 8,040 pheasant eggs were distributed from the special stock kept for this 
purpose at the Wilbraham Game Farm. 

2 Birds found being held in violation of law, and confiscated. 

3 25 adult mallard ducks were trapped at Marshfield, and distributed, and 4 
black ducks from Sandwich Bird Farm. 

MARINE FISHERIES. 

Inspection of Fish. 

The work for the year shows more activities and more seizures and condemna- 
tions of poor fish than any year since 1919, when the office was established. 
Last year the office aimed to cover the State to the extent of inspecting at least 
twice, every store selling fish. This year's more ambitious program gave at 
least three inspections over the whole State, and resulted in a higher quality 
standard of goods, and also in a larger amount seized and condemned, than in 
any previous year so far as retail stores are concerned. The great wholesale 
markets received almost daily calls, and the retail stores in large cities like Bos- 
ton, Worcester, Springfield and others, received more than three visits. The 
wholesale, or receiving end of the fish business, that is, ports taking in fish 
direct from the fishing grounds, were carefully watched; for example, the great 
Boston Fish Pier was covered on 255 working days. 

The double object was to see that fish landed by the vessels was properly 
graded, and that fish sold by the retailers was actually fit for food consumption. 
There were many individual cases where small lots of fish were seized and con- 
demned as unfit for food. Throughout the work there has been one watchword, 
— to see that the consumer who pays for good fish, actually receives what he 
pays for. 

In many instances national, county and city officials have heartily co-operated 
with the work of this office. On the other hand, some town and city health 
officials regard the work as an invasion upon their rights, and we have at 
present the spectacle of a town health official appearing in a court case in op- 
position to as. 

The result of this year's work can best be gauged by public attitude toward 
the consumption of fish. It is admitted by the wholesale fish dealers that more 
fish are being consumed in Massachusetts than ever before. This would seem to 
show that the work of fish inspection in Massachusetts cannot be counted as 



30 RD. 25. 

lost labor. Both dealers and the fish-eating public are not only becoming bet- 
ter acquainted with the fish inspection laws, but are coming to see that they are 
enforced for their own direct benefit. They not only welcome the visits of the 
inspector, but on many occasions send for him to pass judgment upon shipments 
of goods. As Massachusetts is the largest salt and fresh fish producing State in 
the country and many millions of pounds of fish landed within her borders and 
inspected by this office go out to other States, the basic value of the fish inspec- 
tion idea can readily be seen. 

Court Cases. 

It has been the attitude of this office to go as far along with the " good fish 
education " campaign with the dealers as was humanly possible, and when it 
was found that this fair standpoint was abused, the guilty parties were brought 
into court. With the knowledge in mind, however, that every day spent by the 
deputies in being tied up at court was lessening their work in market inspec- 
tions, a great deal of care was taken that the prosecution work should not out- 
weigh the value of daily inspection work. For this reason, only in cases where 
it was deemed absolutely necessary were infractions of the law brought into 
court. The total number of cases brought in for the year was 23, and it is 
testimony to the efficiency of the w r ork of the inspectors that 20 of these re- 
sulted in conviction, the other 3 being discharged on what might be termed tech- 
nicalities. Several of these cases were very strongly contested by the defend- 
ants, which makes the work of the deputies all the more significant. Several of 
the cases were carried up to the Superior Court, but in every such case, decision 
by jury was rendered in favor of the prosecuting deputy. In many cases 
the Judge on the bench took occasion to lecture the defendants for trying to sell 
bad fish to the public. 

Inspection at Producing Points. 

The Inspector has personally visited the larger fish producing ports along the 
coast, including Gloucester, Boston, Provincetown, Chatham, Edgartown and 
Nantucket, and has also taken occasion to survey the retail situation in some of 
the larger cities. From May 1 to Oct. 1 he devoted 3 days each week to the 
handling of the fresh fish situation at Gloucester, where trips aggregating some 
26,000,000 pounds of fish were brought in, and instead of being sold fresh for 
consumption, were split and salted to become the famous salt fish sold all over 
the country and for which Massachusetts is noted. It is the opinion of the In- 
spector, after making these trips, that the standard of fresh fish sold in this 
State will compare more than favorably with the product produced and sold in 
any State in the country. 

During the inspection work at Gloucester it was necessary to condemn as un- 
fit for food all but 43,000 pounds of the 175,000-pound trip of one otter trawler. 
It is felt that this rather drastic but necessary action on the part of the In- 
spector had an influence for good throughout the fishing season. Besides this 
condemnation, several small lots of fish, some as high as 25,000 pounds of poor 
fish, were condemned out of trips and thus prevented from reaching the con- 
sumer. Further, all so-called "logy " or " sick " fish from these splitting trips 
were prevented from reaching those who might have made unscrupulous use of 
them. 

Jellied Swordfish. 

Last year's decision to condemn the whole of any swordfish, any part of which 
was found to be jellied, has been carried out with good effect. In most cases our 
decision was met with favor and the general attitude of the dealers was to co- 
operate to the fullest extent. It is felt that this decision of the office served not 
only to keep unwholesome fish